Fire prevention during winter months

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP)– As temperatures drop to some of the coldest Western Massachusetts has felt in close to a year, it may harder to keep your home warm, and to do it safely.

Now the State Fire Marshal’s office is warning you to use caution when supplementing your home’s heating system.

They also urge you to make sure you have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. They will be your best defense in a fire emergency, according to the West Springfield Fire Department Deputy Chief Daniel Culver.

Culver also says that if you’re using a wood stove, be sure to clean it out properly. “Remove the ashes in a metal container and immediately move them outside, not on the deck, not in the garage, they need to go outside away from the house so that there is no possible fire,” Culver said.

When it comes to space heaters, pay attention to the number of watts the unit uses. It could be a fire hazard if that number is higher than is what the electrical circuit you’re plugging it in to can handle.

The experts at Rocky’s Ace Hardware told 22News if you have cats or dogs in the house, be sure you frequently check the air intake part of the space heater for any pet hair clogs.

“If the intake gets clogged up, the heater heats up more than it should, because the air is not flowing through it and that can cause another issue,” Bruce Drewnainy, store manager at Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Agawam, said.

He also says to keep the space heater several feet away from anything flammable like curtains, couches, or bedding.

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