Space heaters and fireplaces, what you need to know

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - This is your yearly reminder to make sure you take precautions when it comes to using your space heater in your home. That also goes with using your fireplace.

Scott County Rural Fire Chief Jeremy Perrien urges those to use safety this winter with heating up your home.

"This time of year is not the time to lose a house or family member," Perrien said. "A lot of this can be prevented just by reading the instructions and safety precautions provided by manufacturers of the space heaters."

Space heaters if not properly used can have deadly consequences. Perrien said if improperly used, it could result in the loss of your house and even your life.

"Nationally, through the National Fire Protection Association, they estimate about a third of fires in the winter time are space heater-related," Perrien stated.

He said in most cases that common sense is the key to survival.

"A lot of people will set their space heaters, and want their house to stay warm, so they'll leave and go to work or leave them on at night while they're sleeping," Perrien said. "Sometimes they'll have animals that knock them over, kick bedding off in the middle of the night while they're sleeping and could potentially put theirselves in life-threatening situations or lose their house in the process."

Perrien urged several times to read those instructions and the warnings before turning on those space heaters.

"I know a lot of people can get complacent and not read them but it couldn't potentially save your life to understand what you're dealing with," Perrien added.

Before using your fireplace, Perrien recommended cleaning it first so it doesn't start any unforeseen consequences.

"This time of year is the best time to get your flue cleaned out," Perrien said. "I recommend it in the fall. To get free of bird nest or soot buildup over the year before. Just have a professional cleaning service come out and clean your flue out. You'll eliminate problems you'll have throughout the winter."

Overall, safety is key when dealing with heating elements this winter season.

Perrien mentioned a couple things to help make sure you are safe while using those space heaters.

  • Have a safe zone around the space heater
  • Don't to use extension cords
  • Use common sense

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