Fire officials urge heating safety for upcoming drop in temperatures

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Officials with the North Charleston Fire Department are reminding residents about heating safety with a drop in temperatures expected Monday night and Tuesday.

According to NCFD officials, two fires on Friday were related to heating issues. The first fire was in the early morning hours on Anetta Street that displaced a family of three. Authorities say it was determined that there were combustible materials too close to heating sources.

The second fire happened on Carter Road and displaced two people. The fire was determined to be caused by using the oven to heat the home.

The NCFD released the following tips on Monday:

•    Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, heating grate, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
•    Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters.
•    Never use your oven to heat your home.
•    Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
•    Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
•    Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
•    Use modern UL listed portable heaters that include a tip feature which shuts off the portable electric heaters when they tip over.  
•    Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
•    Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
•    Test smoke alarms monthly.
•    Have a family escape plan that you practice regularly.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.