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Officials warn about space heater dangers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- It’s getting chillier but may not be cold enough to switch on your furnace.

Because of that, a lot of people will turn to space heaters to keep them warm and save some money. However, experts say misusing those devices can cost you dearly.

The Wayne Township Fire Department’s last fatal fire caused by a space heater was two years ago. Captain Mike Pruitt hopes it never happens again.  He said the number one rule for a space heater is to put plenty of space between the heater and anything combustible.

“Three feet,” said Pruitt, “keeping it three feet away from anything that might burn.”

It’s also recommended you don’t use extension cords with heaters, plug them right into the wall. Pruitt also said replace old heaters and never buy an older model at a garage sale.

“The nice thing about modern day space heaters are that if they do fall over, the blower will continue to run but the heating element will shut off,” said Pruitt.

Always make sure your smoke detectors are working. On Friday, the Indianapolis Fire Department is going door to door on a smoke detector blitz around the White River Parkway and Kentucky Avenue.

“The smoke alarm is really your first line of defense in warning your family that something may be amiss inside your home,” said Battalion Chief Rita Reith of the Indianapolis Fire Department.

Fire officials also say never use a kerosene space heater inside, as it has the potential to give off carbon monoxide. They say always stick with electric, and always keep an eye on it.