With cold weather upon us, fire officials give advice on how to safely heat your home

Local News

On Jan. 18, two people were hurt, and their dog was killed after a fire ripped through their home in Madison. 

In October, an elderly man escaped just in time after a fire broke out in his bedroom in East Nashville. 

Both fires were caused by space heaters. 

“This time of year, it’s going to start increasing,” said Lieutenant Andrew Ivey with Franklin Fire Department. “It’s only going to get worse.” 

Ivey says they’re gearing up for more calls this weekend as cold weather creeps in. 

“This weekend a lot of people are going to turn on their heaters for the first time, maybe the second time this year,” he said. 

And that can cause big problems depending on how you heat your home. 

Ivey says space heaters are one of the top causes of fires in homes and apartments during the cold, if not used the right way. 

“What you want to do is you want to make sure that you have your space heater is at least three feet away from anything that can catch on fire,” Ivey said. 

“Beds, furniture, curtains,” he said. 

Ivey says fires can also start in HVAC units and says homeowners should get it professionally checked twice a year. 

“The fans over time, they experience problems,” he said. “The fans can catch on fire. There are belts inside of there. The belts can catch on fire.” 

And if a fire does break out in your home, Ivey says having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can mean the difference between life and death. 

“It’s very sad to know that somebody loses their life in a fire especially if it’s something that we can prevent,” he said. 

“A human life is irreplaceable.”

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