Officials warn locals about 'heating shortcut' dangers

Published: Jan. 3, 2018 at 9:11 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2018 at 4:39 PM CST
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HENDERSON CO., KY (WFIE) - There are a lot of ways to heat your home, but some people try to get through the coldest months using "heating shortcuts." However, those shortcuts can end up costing you your life.

Captain Mattingly with the Henderson Fire Department told us this time of year when temperatures start to drop, people start using alternative methods in order to keep their house warm and cut down on costs.

Mattingly estimates in one out of every 10 fires they're called to in the winter are started by space heaters just like the most recent deadly one in Henderson County late last week.

If you count all alternative heating sources including wood stoves and industrial heaters, that percentage goes up.

Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson said alternative heating equipment accounts for 19 percent of home fire deaths in the United States.

Henderson's Captain Mattingly said fire safety starts with taking care of your primary heat source.

"Generally we see lack of maintenance with furnaces like people not keeping their filters clean or replace them on a frequent basis," Brad Mattingly, the captain of the Henderson Fire Department told us. " We recommend that you get with your service technician yearly to have them inspect it and make sure everything is running properly and efficiently."

Mattingly told 14 News if you use a space heater, make sure there is nothing within a three-foot radius that can catch fire.

It's also a good idea to avoid plugging them into extension cords as well.

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