Cold weather season begins busiest time of year for Mobile Firefighters

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As temperatures drop around the region, we’re entering the busiest time of year for firefighters. They’re often called to homes after attempts to stay warm get out of hand.

This fire in Wilmer from 2017 is a textbook cautionary tale about home heating. A man used an extension cord to plug in a space heater, leading to a fire that burned down everything he owned.

“Power given out by a space heater can’t be handled by an extension cord so it gets overrun and the electrical wiring just can’t handle it,” said Steven Millhouse with Mobile Fire-Rescue. Mobile fire officials say when people try alternative methods to heat their homes it can get out of hand. This weekend they had a call after a fireplace flooded a house with smoke.

“Make sure you have it professionally inspected swept and cleaned before you go ahead and light it because throughout the year there’s been debris, leaves, and who knows what else fall into the chimney,” said Millhouse. Furnaces kicking on for the first time in a year can send dust into homes that get mistaken for smoke.

“There’s going to be a little bit of dust coming in, recognize the difference between dust and smoke if it’s dust just be aware of that as well,” said Millhouse. It’s not just about staying warm and staying safe. Fire officials say families should also have a plan in the event of a fire

“Exactly what to do, where to go, where the exits are in your home, where your meeting place is so everyone is safe and out of the home,” said Millhouse. They hope spreading awareness prevents the need for an emergency call in the first place.

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