Space heater safety and other cold weather information

Several cities in the Tampa Bay area woke up to near-freezing air on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

It didn't get quite as cold Friday morning in Spring Hill as expected.

The low temperature was around 33 degrees, but people prepared for temperatures in the 20s. 

Regardless, it is cold! This is the time of year when fire calls increase, mostly because of people trying to keep their homes warm.  

Hernando County Fire Department Operations Chief Jim Billotte said people need to take a few precautions, especially with space heaters.

"When utilizing space heaters, make sure first of all we're utilizing heaters that are tested by national laboratories such as UL," Billotte said. "Make sure we're keeping a 3-foot clearance around our space heaters, make sure combustibles, blankets, clothing and other such items are far away.

"And make sure we're always shutting them down and unplugging them at night. And never using extension cords when we're utilizing space heaters."

Also, make sure carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are working properly.

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© 2018 WTSP-TV


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