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Alpena Fire Department warns residents of the dangers of space heater fires

ALPENA, Mich — The number of fatal home fires in the state of Michigan is on the rise. Fires and carbon monoxide poisonings are more frequent in winters months, when heat sources are being used to keep homes comfortable. But that doesn’t have to be the case, especially when it comes to space heaters.

There are a few things you can do to lessen the chances of a heater–related fire happening in your home, by being mindful of a few simple, but life saving tips. Risk reduction officer Andy Marceau of the Alpena says,

“Plug them right into the outlet, not into an extension cord. They also should be used only when you’re in that room, and when you’re awake.”

Marceau says fires related to space heaters are very preventable, and are typically caused by human error.

“People putting things too close. Combustibles. Things heat up and get to an ignition temperature, and you could have a fire.”

Considering safety features before bringing a heater into your home can prevent some of these accident from taking place in the first place to begin with.

“Most of them do now come with devices in there, that if they are knocked over, they do automatically shut off.”

Checking smoke detectors, installing carbon monoxide detectors, and having furnaces inspected can also keep your family safe this winter season.