Local fire departments say they have responded to at least one call about a home catching on fire because of a space heater due to the device was very close to clothes and flammable items.

“You want to have it at least 3 feet away so that the heat has enough space to dissipate and does not heat up that object to it to cause a fire.”

Officials suggest keeping any heaters away from clothes, furniture, curtains or anything flammable. They also recommend disconnecting the unit if it isn’t in use, especially if no one is home. Authorities strongly suggest avoiding the use of extension cords.

“Because extension cords and surge protectors sometimes don’t provide adequate electricity for it so it might draw too much power from those and cause a short.”

The chief added that most of the calls received by the department are from the lack of proper maintenance of the ac unitsā€¦ With time dust accumulates and when the unit is turned on it causes lots of smokeā€¦Therefore setting off smoke alarms.

If extension cords are your only option to plug in your heater, authorities recommend allowing them to be visible. That way any irregularities can be detected.