Hattiesburg, Miss. - Mississippi endured the deadliest month for fire deaths last January with six out of eight fires being heating related.
Hattiesburg Fire Chief, Paul Presley said, "Winter time, people are trying to stay warm. This is space heater safety and what I got here is a space heater right here. And what people have to understand sometimes, you can't put objects too close to them. You want to put objects three feet or more in front of the space heater or three feet or more above the space heater."
Having objects three feet in front or above the space heater is to prevent those objects from catching on fire.
Presley said "you can't let the space heater extension cord be in front of it either. The raiding heat from the heater can cause the cord to melt and that can cause a fire."
Other helpful tips are to never use space heaters while you're asleep or away from home. Always turn off space heaters when they're not in use. And never use a stove or oven to heat living places.
Presley said "if you go to the store and you buy a space heater, do a little research before you buy a space heater. You might want to buy the ones that are a little safer. If you knock it over, it'll go off automatically. Those are probably the safest one's to buy. I think that'll be a big thing is to do your research before you purchase stuff like that."
According to the National Fire Protection Association, one home structure fire is reported every 86 seconds. So make sure to listen to Chief Presley so that you're home isn't a part of that statistic.
For more fire safety information and tips, visit the fire marshal page of the Mississippi Insurance Department website at www.mid.ms.gov