MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As the temperature drops dramatically Tuesday night, many will be pulling out their space heaters and other heating devices to keep warm. Many for the first time since last year.

Mobile Fire Rescue officials are asking people to use caution as they start to pull out their heating equipment.

“We get some colder conditions again if it’s something you and your family can prevent, make sure that you’re doing everything you can to keep yourself safe. For everything else, call 911 and we’re happy to help,” said Steven Millhouse, with Mobile Fire-Rescue.

Mobile Fire-Rescue officials said they’re prepared to respond to any call any day any time, but said it’s best to try to prevent fires from starting.

“Have a home fire safety plan, have a working smoke alarm, know how to properly use the space heaters, having your chimney swept. Those sorts of things, cooking, and staying in the kitchen while you’re cooking, those sorts of things to prevent fires in your home and protect yourselves and your families,” said Millhouse.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the second leading cause of house fires and injuries in the US, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Space heaters are the equipment most often involved in heating equipment fires, more than two of every five fires.

Firefighters want to remind you, space heaters aren’t used to heat an entire room.

“If you can prevent it, we recommend you do. For everything else, just give us a call. We’re here to help, that’s why we’re here,” said Millhouse.

Some other tips from Mobile Fire-Rescue, make sure you always plug a space heater directly into a wall outlet never an extension cord or surge protector, keep the space heater on a flat surface, and make sure you keep anything flammable at least three feet away from a heat source.

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