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  • Keaundria Milloy

Officials give tips to avoid winter house fires, winterizing homes

As freezing temperatures approach, officials warn about the possibility of fires if objects in the house are not monitored properly. One of those major objects is space heaters. Dover says when using one to plug it directly into an outlet and never use an extension cord.

“With space heaters, the biggest thing is making sure there’s at least three feet of open space around it and it’s also a great idea to make sure that the space heater is not facing a single piece of furniture or wall,” said Lauderdale County Fire Coordinator.

Dover says now is the time to maintain heaters and fireplaces for cold temperatures.

“We’ll see an increase in calls,” said Dover. “Most of them will be smoke coming from a heater and 90 percent of the time that’s going to be due to the fact that they didn’t maintenance that heater properly.”

Being this us the first cold spark of the season, homeowners are encouraged to focus on the four P’s when it comes to winterizing their homes--plants, pets, pipes and people. Meridian Public Safety Director Doug Stephens says pipes are a main concern during the winter.

“We just encourage people to make sure their pipes--especially those that are exposed to the outside are protected in some way,” said Stephens. “Several local hardware stores sell an installation that goes over those pipes and a special thing that covers the faucet.”

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most house fires happen between December and February, so now is the time to check your surroundings to stay safe.

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