BECKLEY, WV (WOAY)- With West Virginia’s frigid winter temperatures as well as dangerous wind chill, responses to keep houses warm can create hazardous situations.
“There has been an uptick here recently in the city and most of the counties as well. We don’t have any hard numbers right now because it’s still early in some of the investigations, but we do believe a few may have been space heater related,” said Lieutenant Chris Lanna of Beckley Fire Department explaining the increase in fires.
Space heaters are the number one cause of house fires during the winter time if not plugged in correctly.
Lieutenant Lanna shared the importance of fire safety for all residents, especially during the cold months.
“If you are using a space heater, you want to follow the manufacturers instructions as far as clearances in front of the heater and to the sides and back as well. Always have it plugged directly into a wall outlet, not an extension cord or a powerstrip when you are using a space heater,” said Lieutenant Lanna.
In order to stay safe during the winter, firefighters suggest to keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammables and turn off all space heaters when unattended, as well as make sure that smoke detectors are working properly.
“You always want to have a working smoke detector in your house. It’s very inexpensive and is a great way to protect your family and the investment of your home,” said Lieutenant Lanna.