This time of year, fire-related injuries and scaldings are common as people reach for alternative ways to heat their homes.
Oregon County Emergency Preparedness Director Eric King said there are many fire related hazards. "People use fireplaces that have not been maintained or cleaned in a year or more, resulting in flue fires. Others use dangerous flame accelerants to get quick results, or use electric heaters too close to flammable materials," he said.
To be safer King gave those tips.
* Buy electric space heaters that bear the mark of an independent testing laboratory such as UL, ETL or CSA. Connect them directly into a wall outlet or use only a heavy-duty appliance extension cord if necessary. Never use a light weight extension cord for a home heating devise because the cord can heat up and cause a fire. Never place an extension cord under a rug.
* Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep.
* Use kerosene heaters only where permitted by law. Use the recommended grade kerosene and never use an alternative fuel. Kerosene heaters must be fueled outside.
* Never use space heaters to dry clothing or blankets.
* Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and inside or near sleeping areas.
* Never use an oven or range to heat your home.
* Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or a closed garage.
* Never use unvented gas or kerosene heaters in closed spaces, especially near or in sleeping areas. Even opening a door or window does not allow enough fresh air to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.