Tips For Heating Your Home Safely

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) -- The cold weather is here and people are staying warm however they can. Whether it's a space heater or fireplace, it's important to follow the proper steps to avoid harming yourself or your family.

Chief of the Rogers Fire Department, Tom Jenkins, said a common problem is people who don't maintain their heating sources. When using a fireplace, Jenkins said it's important to clean out the chimney and have it inspected as needed. Chimney fires sometimes go unnoticed for a while and then it could be too late.

Space heaters are a popular and convenient way to warm up quickly. Jenkins said although they've become more safe over the years, he still doesn't recommend using them as a main heating source.

Using a kitchen oven or stove to help heat a home is extremely dangerous, as well as bringing a grill or fire pit indoors.

Smoke detectors are crucial to keeping your home safe. Jenkins said they can make all the difference and it's important to maintain those as well. He said the batteries should be changed at least twice a year and if your detector is 10 years old, it's time to get a new one.

Jenkins said most fire departments provide and install smoke detectors for free -- all you have to do is call and let them know you're interested.

Sticking together as a community is important too, Jenkins said. He said he wants people to check with friends and family to make sure they're aware of these dangers and know how to heat their homes safely.

"It might be making sure they understand that using their oven is not appropriate," said Jenkins. "I think there's homework for a lot of us in a lot of ways."