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It’s cold: Check space heaters, other sources of heat

Dec. 15. Home heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires, and with winter weather coming—possible freezing rain in Cornelius tomorrow—the American Red Cross says it’s time to check your space heaters and other heat sources like fireplaces.

—All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.

—If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.

—Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.

—Never use a cooking range, oven, charcoal or gas grill to heat your home.

—Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

People can download the Red Cross Emergency App for instant access to weather alerts for their area and where loved ones live. Expert medical guidance and a hospital locator are included in the First Aid App in case travelers encounter any mishaps. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps