Be warm but be safe as temps drop

We didn't need to call Flomaton Fire Chief Steve Stanton or Century Fire Chief David Adams to get their comments about temperatures quickly dropping below the freezing point.

Both would have told us it's prime time for a house fire. We know that because they've told us that before.

The reasons are multiple. First is most heating systems have been idle for months and months and they collect dust. Second is people look for alternative sources of heat like space heaters, mounted gas heaters and propane heaters.

When it gets cold, we want to stay warm, but we also need to remember these heaters can be a fire hazard if not used properly or not maintained properly.

Chimneys, that haven't seen a log since last March, are another concern. Stuff builds up in chimneys and can ignite on first use.

Improperly installed or used gas heaters can also put out a deadly gas that can kill you without you knowing you are dying.

Get your heating equipment checked. You also need to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home. Fire departments recommend changing the batteries at daylight savings time as a reminder. The best fire alarm is no good if the battery is dead.

We also recommend anyone with gas heat install a carbon monoxide detector that will alert you and your family if you have a leak.

If you need a smoke detector, call your local fire department. Most will be glad to provide you one.

By time you read this we may be out of our cold snap, but another one is coming. Take precautions to save your home, but more importantly, save your family.