With colder temperatures projected for this weekend, officials with the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department are urging citizens to use caution when turning on space or wall heaters.
“Any families using space or wall heaters should exercise extreme caution,” Fire Marshal Ken Honeycutt said. “No combustible materials should be within 3 feet of the heater.”
Honeycutt also warned “electrical cords for these heaters should also be inspected prior to use."
He said cords that are cracked or damaged, have broken plugs, or have loose connections should be replaced.
If residents suspect there are any defects or any repairs that need to be made to a space heater, Honeycutt recommended contacting a licensed professional.
Honeycutt said residents should use space heaters equipped with a safety tip-over sensor, which will automatically turn off the unit if it is not in the intended upright position.
When turning on any unit for the first use, an odor due to dust accumulation can be expected, according to Fire Department officials.
However, residents should take note that any signs of sparks or flames, as well as if the smoke alarm sounds, is a warning that something could be seriously wrong with the space heater and should call 9-1-1 immediately.
“This is just one of the many reasons it is important to have working smoke alarms in the home,” Honeycutt said. “Smoke alarms should be regularly tested and batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.”
For residents who live within the city limits of Murfreesboro and are unable to purchase a smoke alarm, the Fire Department offers a program called Project SAFE that provides free detectors and installation.
For more information on Project SAFE or for non-emergency safety concerns, contact the Fire Department at 615-893-1422.