ABC Action News takes a closer look at space heater safety with Tampa Fire Rescue.
The dropping temperature makes for a busy night ahead for Tampa Fire rescue.
Crews know their calls will increase as residents adjust their thermostats and pull out their space heaters for the first time this fall.
They are fully aware that can turn deadly. Four years ago, a space heater ignited an Odessa home, killing five children.
So what should you do to keep your family safe?
First, have someone service your air and heating unit every year. It may be too late for this cold front, so pay close attention tonight to whatever heating system you’re using.
When you turn on your heat you will probably notice a burning smell. Fire Inspector Tom Miller says don’t panic.
“Dust and particles build up on those heat strips,” he said. “So typically the first time that we turn our heater on with a cold snap, you can smell something burning. Don’t be alarmed. It’s just the particles and the dust on the heat strips.”
Miller said that smell should dissipate within 10 to 15 minutes. If it persists you may have an problem.
How about space heaters?
Miller said if you are using one, make sure there is nothing within 3 feet in front or above it. He also said take a good look at older heaters, because with time an element may have slipped out of place, which could ignite the floor.
Another red flag to watch out for is frayed cords.
Never plug too many things in one outlet.
Full story at ABC Action news: