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HARRIS COUNTY – With temperatures across Harris County expected to dip below freezing, the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to practice heating safety. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths but can be prevented by following a few fire safety precautions.

“We encourage all residents to test their smoke alarms and know two ways out of every space,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie L. Christensen. “Smoke alarms are your first line of defense if a fire occurs in your home. Before utilizing any heating equipment, test your smoke alarms and know two ways out of every room. These two precautions, coupled with proper use of heating equipment can save lives.”

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office encourages residents to follow these heating safety tips:

  • Place space heaters on solid, flat surfaces. Also, make sure your space heater has an automatic shut off in case it tips over.
  • Check space heaters for cracked or damaged cords and plugs.
  • Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets, don’t use an extension cord or power strip.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least three-feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Create a “kid free zone” three feet from open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly.

The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is responsible for fire prevention, fire safety education, and fire investigation in the unincorporated areas of Harris County.

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