Amarillo Fire Department promotes space heater safety during winter months

Keeping warm and staying safe

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - It’s that time of year when space heaters and fire places become used frequently.

With below freezing temperatures in the early morning and night, some will do anything to keep warm.

“This time of year, our average low temperature is in the low twenties. That’s typically what we would expect to see is temperature below freezing as we head through the overnight hours. Even if we warm up throughout the day, we’re still going to get those colder, below freezing temperature at night where you’re definitely going to want some kind of heat source,” said First Alert Meteorologist Samantha Thomas.

There has already been a house fire this winter season that Amarillo Fire Department believes was likely started due to a space heater that was plugged into an overloaded extension cord.

“A lot of this is common sense safety stuff that you just need to be reminded of every once in a while,” said Kyle Joy, captain of Amarillo Fire Department.

AFD reminds residents that a space heater should never be plugged into a power strip or extension cord, they should never be left unattended and there should be nothing within four feet of the heating source.

Where some mindless actions don’t appear to have a large impact, if not given proper attention a mistake could end up causing a fire with tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

“These little actions can lead to a significant loss on a fire,” said Joy.

To help minimize house fires this season, AFD is taking action to make sure every house is well equipped if there were a fire.

“Our goal in anything that we do is to make sure people are safe and one of the ways we do that is we want every house in Amarillo to have a smoke alarm. Not just a smoke alarm but a working smoke alarm. So we have smoke alarms that either AFD or the American Red Cross can install in your home and this is also a good time of the year to test your smoke alarms if you already have them,” said Joy.

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