CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - When it comes to cold nights, people often pull out alternative sources for heating.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for one third of heat-related fires.
Keep the heater three feet away from anything flammable. Plug them directly into the wall: don't use extension cords.
And never keep the heater on while you're away from home.
If you're lighting the fireplace, don't use flammable liquids to start up the flames. Keep the metal screen closed to prevent embers from jumping out.
Reconsider using it at all if you haven't had your chimney inspected in the last year.
And if you're planning on using electric blankets, experts say you should never run the cord between a mattress or under a rug or wrap the cord around the controller to store it, which could bend and damage it, making it a fire hazard.