As temperatures drop, Chief Clark offers space heater warning

Published 5:45 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

FARMVILLE – The holiday season marks a time of festive decorations, cooking delicious food and staying warm as the temperatures continue to drop. This year, it is as vital as ever to ensure all these activities are done safely. Local officials offered a space heater warning this week, urging people to be careful.

As temperatures settle into the icy cold winter, folks may be tempted to bring their space heater a little closer to them and away from the outlet in the wall with an extension cord. However, that can be dangerous and a huge fire hazard.

“Space heaters are designed to be plugged into the receptacles in the wall,” said Daniel Clark. He works as the fire chief for the Farmville Fire Department. “When they’re plugged into an extension cord the cord overheats because they are not designed to take in that much power.”

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Clark added one more space heater warning, advising folks to use proper heating methods as he’s seen alternative techniques prove to be dangerous. Along with space heaters in an extension cord, Clark advises against using an oven to heat a home. Not only could this create a fire hazard but household members could get burned by the open door.

Be careful when setting out the tree

The week of Thanksgiving marks the time frame when many people find it socially acceptable to start decorating for Christmas. Those who choose to use a real tree need to make sure that it is properly watered. A dried-out tree can become a fire hazard as can plugging in too many lights into one outlet.

“The problem arises when there are too many decorations and not enough available outlets,” said Clark. “The problem with using plug splitters is that the receptacles are only made to hold so much and you don’t want to overload that.”

Good safety while cooking is also important. Even though these big meals can cause many distractions, anything cooking should never be left unattended in the kitchen.

Clark also encourages folks to check their smoke detectors. Two weeks ago daylight savings time ended, which is also a time people are encouraged to change the batteries in their smoke detectors along with their clocks. Detectors should also be checked once a month to make sure they are ready for an emergency.

With a few tips to keep in mind, this holiday season should be one for creating lasting and safe memories.