Staying Warm and Safe Inside When It's Cold Outside


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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- As it gets colder and colder outside, you'll likely want to do everything you can to stay warm inside; however, something as common as a space heater could put your family in danger if not used correctly.

According to the American Red Cross, heating fires are the second-leading cause of home fires.

Rockingham County Fire-Rescue Chief Jeremy Holloway said they've caused more than half of the fires the station has seen since October.

Heating fires started the fires that damaged a home in Elkton Sunday and destroyed a home in Lyndhurst on Saturday.

Holloway said it is important to make sure your wood stoves and heaters are in good working condition.

"Just a little bit of time and care, getting someone in to inspect these, that they're properly installed, may have a significant savings to your family and possibly save someone's life," said Holloway, "I expect there's a lot of people that are going to be using them, especially over the next 24, 48 hours. When temperatures get this extreme cold, a lot of the heat pumps and stuff are pulling power and it's hard to keep up and plus when they get down to a certain temperature they don't heat as well, so people are doing some alternative heating methods. So we're really concerned over what's going to happen the next 24 hours," said Holloway.

If you're using a space heater, Holloway said to give it three feet of space all around and plug it directly into the wall, not through an extension cord.


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