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Fire departments urge precaution as temps drop

As colder temperatures approach Georgia, the fire departments want to remind the community of some helpful safety tips to take this season. 

LaGrange Fire Department accreditation manager Mike Webb said fires during the winter months are often caused by space heaters. 

“Most space heaters don’t have very good ventilation to start with,” Webb said. “There can potentially be carbon monoxide problems if they are not running properly. If someone doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors in their house, they need to get some.”

Webb recommends if you do have a space heater going, do not place it near a window with curtains or in front of any object. 

“Having it in front of something could cause major problems and potentially catch something on fire,” Webb said. “Make sure you have plenty of space around the space heater, so it can be distanced from objects in the home.” 

Webb also said during Christmas time, families should never leave Christmas lights on for too long or unattended. 

He added that homes with furnaces and fireplaces need to be cleaned and checked before using this winter season. 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the second leading cause of U.S. home fires, deaths and injuries. December, January and February are the peak months for heating fires. Troup County Fire Department Deputy Chief Kevin Norred said that during the annual time change, homeowners should also change and check their smoke alarms. 

“It’s good to make that a regular routine,” Norred said. “Mash that test button and make sure everything is working properly.”

He added that local businesses that use space heaters in their office spaces need to make sure not to overload extension cords that are also hooked to computers and desktops. 

“Some of the older homes in the county, or in Hogansville, have older fuel systems that have not been serviced or maintained,” Norred said. “Those homeowners need to make sure they do that before the colder weather really sets in.” 

For more tips and recourses on fire safety this winter, visit www.nfpa.org