Firefighters share space heater safety tips as cold front approaches Central Florida

Don’t plug a space heater into an extension cord

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – First responders with the Orange County Fire Rescue are prepared for any cold weather-related emergencies.

Temperatures in Orange County could dip below freezing this weekend.

With space heater-related fires being the most common emergency during cold weather OCFR said to make sure you don’t plug a space heater into an extension cord.

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“Make sure there’s a three-foot perimeter around that space heater, you don’t want it near pillows, couches, anything that can catch fire. Maybe it’s a pile of laundry or the curtains,” the public information officer for OCFR Lisa McDonald said.

OCFR also said in the event of a power outage, make sure generators are at least 10 feet outside the homes.

Home heating systems may emit an order when first turned on, especially if the home heater has not been turned on since last winter.

OCFR said anyone using a fireplace should make sure the chimney is cleared for smoke to travel.

“Grab up in there. Make sure the flue is open so that the smoke is getting out of the chimney. If the flue is open and you are doing everything properly, and you are finding that smoke is billowing back into the home, there could be a blockage in there, you want to call 9-1-1, again and have firefighters check it,” McDonald said.

Lastly, fire officials remind people this is also a great time to make sure all of your home smoke detectors are operating correctly.

About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.