Wiggins Fire Department gives tips on how to stay safe as temperatures drop

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WIGGINS, Miss. (WLOX) -As temperatures cool down, firefighters are warning people to be extra careful when firing up their heaters.

Wiggins Fire Department is warning people of the dangers that come with chilly weather. According to Fire Chief Jody Hatten, they see an uptick in fire calls when the temperature starts to cool down.

“This is the time of year when people start using fireplaces and they might have sat all summer, may have bird nests in them, debris. Make sure your fireplaces are clean before just setting a big fire in them because the dryness can catch on fire, and it will cause the chimney to catch on fire,” Hatten said.

Capt. Brooks Smith said fireplaces aren’t the only fire hazard; heaters are also a threat.

“Heaters in general and space heaters, stuff like that, a lot of people want to plug it into power strips, and that’s one thing we try to say stay away from. Plug it directly into the wall. Even try to stay away from extension cords, if possible,” Smith said.

Smith recommends buying heaters that turn off automatically if they fall.

“That’s very important if you are going to have it inside, especially with the kids around or something like that, if the kids are playing and they knock it over, you want something with that safety-tilt switch so it can cut it off,” Brooks said.

Making sure smoke alarms are properly working can also help alert people in life-threatening situations.

“Most of the time, smoke detectors go off and people are actually able to get the fire out before we actually get there. It’s whenever the fire gets a head start on them because the smoke detectors didn’t alert them is worse when we get there because their house is actually on fire,” Hatten said.

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