Greenville Fire/Rescue chief urges fire safety ahead of cold weather

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Overnight temperatures are expected to dip below 40 degrees over the next few days.

Many people might be considering a space heater to keep from constantly adjusting their thermostats.

It’s a source of heat that Shirley Rodgers is already taking advantage of.

“It feels pretty good inside, but it is chilly outside,” Rodgers said. “So, last night I turned my heat on.”

Rodgers says last year, her space heater caught on fire after she plugged it into an extension cord.

“It was a good thing I was there because it burnt out my wall plug,” Rodgers said.

Thankfully, it didn’t do any more damage, but Greenville Fire/Rescue Chief Carson Sanders is warning others to be careful.

“Always make sure it’s plugged into the actual outlet, not into an extension cord,” Sanders said. “If the chord is frayed at all, make sure that you do not use that because it could cause a short.”

If you haven’t already, you may soon be turning on your central heater.

Sanders recommends dusting it off beforehand.

“Remember that dust has been building up in that all summer so you may get a funny smell in your house. Most people are gonna stick with their space heater or their fireplace for something like this that’s gonna be a short term couple of days where it’s going to stay cold,” Sanders said.

Sanders goes on to advise everyone to not put blankets, pillows, or any type of comforter over or near a space heater while it’s on. Otherwise, you run the risk of them catching on fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 80% of people hurt in a fire are specifically hurt in a space heater fire.

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