KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville Fire Department provided some tips to help keep homes warm and safe this winter.
Space heaters are often the cause of house fires during the colder months, but there has been a slight decrease this month due to warmer temperatures, according to KFD.
Assistant Chief Mark Wilbanks said that the number one tip he can offer to stay safe is to have working smoke alarms and to make sure they are tested once a month. He also suggests having working carbon monoxide alarms if you use propane or natural gas in your home.
Wilbanks said that safety is very important when it comes to heating devices.
"Heater safety is very important," Wilbanks said in an email. "Keep heating devices at least 3 feet away from combustible materials. Do not use extension cords on portable heaters."
Wilbanks also went on to say that portable heaters need to be plugged directly into the wall.
If you use a fireplace, Wilbanks suggests having them inspected and cleaned regularly.
Candles also happen to be a cause for fires in the winter, so KFD suggests that you never leave one burning unattended or sleep with one lit.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, anything that can burn needs to be at least 3 feet away from the heat source. The agency also suggests that you keep portable generators outside and away from windows as well as keep cooled ashes in a metal container and stored outside.
Most house fires caused by home heating appliances occur from December until February and around one out of every seven fires are caused by some sort of heating device.