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Get your heater ready for the cold

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Albany Fire Chief James Carswell Albany Fire Chief James Carswell
Wendy Salter, Modern Gas Office Manager Wendy Salter, Modern Gas Office Manager
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany fire officials have tips you need to remember to stay warm safely, because heating homes is one of the primary causes of fire fatalities in Georgia this time of year. They say maintenance is key before turning on your heat sources.    

Many south Georgians will use space heaters this week, but fire officials say they should not be your main source for heating your home.  

"They're only designed to heat a certain area and people tend to try to heat a large area so you put a tremendous load on it," said Albany Fire Chief James Carswell.  

Modern Gas officials say using vent less space heaters as your sole heating source can get you in trouble with city officials   "It is actually against city code for those to be your sole source of heat, they can be used as a supplemental heat, but that's the only way," said Wendy Salter of Modern Gas Company.    

Any time you do use a space heater, make sure the area around it is clear.   "Most specifications say you need at least three feet of clear area around the space heater," said Carswell. "That cord gets hot and over a period of time it can start to break down and short out."    

Firefighters say you should never leave a space heater unattended, and it should not run 24/7.  They also say you should clean your heater before turning them on.  

"Now is the time to be cleaning making sure all of the dust are off the heater coils, make sure there's nothing been poked in it."  

Chief Carswell says smoke detectors are a must have in the homes especially at night when people are no longer attending to their heat sources.   "They're the only thing that's going to be alert and looking out for you even while you're asleep."  

Modern Gas officials say heating appliances should be serviced at least once a year so that you are receiving the most efficient heat for your home.

For more information on heating safety click here.

 

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