Safety urged when using alternate heating sources - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Safety urged when using alternate heating sources

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - As temperatures start to dip, the state fire marshal's office is urging Tennesseans to be careful when using alternate sources for home heating.

Fire officials say with colder temperatures come more opportunities for residential fires.

Fire Marshal Gary West says people begin using heating sources that have been dormant for many months, which can lead to fire safety issues.

Wood stoves, space heaters and fireplaces are considered major factors in home heating fires.

In 2013, heating equipment was involved in 654 Tennessee structure fires, which resulted in 12 deaths, 14 injuries and more than $9 million in property damage.

Officials say one main safety tip is to keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.

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