AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – As winter finally starts to arrive in western Massachusetts, local fire departments are warning of increased dangers that can come with the cold winter months.
One of the issues that the Agawam Fire Department has received calls on is people not properly using their space heaters.
“One of the biggest things is people putting extension cords on space heaters. Space heaters are designed to draw a certain amount of wattage so far from the outlet. So when people put an extension cord on it puts a load on the extension cord and those could cause fires,” said Deputy Chief BJ Calvi of the Agawam Fire Department.
Other things that are known to cause fires: Leaving your laptop plugged in too long, letting lint build up in the dryer, not getting your chimney swept, and even putting the wrong wattage light bulb in your lamp.
One retired firefighter told 22news clutter is another big problem he’s seen in house fires. “A lot of thing piled up in the entry ways, exit ways, the stair ways, basements and windows blocked. Not being able to get access in case you have an emergency and have to exit the window,” said Michael Rodriguez of Springfield.
During the winter months there’s also an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters said fuel-burning equipment including vehicles and generators running in a garage can be extremely dangerous and need to be vented.
Ignoring appliance recalls can also be a fire hazard.Faulty appliances cause about 150 thousand fires every year.