By REBECCA HAZEN
The Trenton-Dade Fire Department battled two fires back-to-back on Monday night, Jan. 31.
The first fire was located in the 9200 block of Highway 11, and the second fire was located in the 3300 block of New Home Road.
According to Trenton-Dade Fire Department Assistant Chief Ansel Smith, both fires, in trailers, were most likely caused by space heaters.
“We are almost certain it was a space heater. It caught the bed on fire. The fire was contained to a bedroom. The people got out and everyone was okay,” Smith said about the Highway 11 fire.
The trailer on New Home Road was a total loss after that fire, also believed to be caused by a space heater.
“One of the people burned his feet a bit while getting out, but everyone did get out okay,” Smith said.
According to Smith, space heaters often cause home fires in the winter months. Smith noted that if people use space heaters, to ensure that the heater is out in the open, and they are not next to furniture and items such as piles of clothing.
In a recent press release, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King asked all Georgians to exercise caution while using home heating equipment this winter.
“Heating equipment is a leading cause of residential fires in the United States. Data from the National Fire Prevention Association shows that local fire departments responded to an annual average of 48,530 fires resulting from negligent heater use between 2014 and 2018. These fires resulted in 500 deaths, 1,350 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage,” the press release said.
Follow these tips for keeping yourself and your home safe this winter:
• Have your fireplace or wood stove chimney and chimney connectors inspected and cleaned at the start of the heating season.
• Do not plug heating equipment into extension cords.
• Move anything that can burn at least three feet from your heater, fireplace, or wood stove. Fifty-four percent of home heating fire deaths were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn.
• Keep your children and pets safely away from your portable or space heater.
• Turn off your portable or space heater before leaving the room.