Fire officials warn people about using heat lamps as temperatures drop

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -  As the temperatures drop, fire officials are reminding people to be careful when using different tools to heat their homes.

The warning comes less than a week after a Muncie man died in a fire caused by a heat lamp.

Wayne Township Fire Captain Michael Pruitt said he has seen the damage a heat lamp can cause. Each year, the department responds to fires involving the powerful bulbs. Pruitt demonstrated that it takes under five minutes for a heat lamp to burn through a blanket.

Pruitt said heat lamps are not designed to heat homes and must be monitored.

"This 250 watt bulb will get up over 400 degrees," Pruitt said. "So, if you place that up against anything over time it's going to break down and set it on fire."

Fire officials also emphasize the need to have working smoke detectors.

"If you do not have this in your home on every level and testing it regularly, it could lead to very tragic events," Pruitt said about the smoke detectors.