ATLANTA - With a powerful Arctic air that will blast its way into Georgia Friday night, first responders are warning of the deadly dangers that come along with keeping warm.
"This time of year, especially during the winter but when it’s extremely cold, we have a higher risk," said Capt. James Fleming of the City of Morrow Fire Department.
The biggest danger, he said: space heaters.
The devastating fire that tore through an apartment building in the Bronx, New York earlier this month was sparked by an electric space heater. 17 people died. Eight of them were kids.
Last weekend near Macon, a 62-year-old man in Twiggs County died in a fire that investigators say was also started by a space heater.
"The biggest issue we have, cold nights that come few and far between. Folks tend to be less cautious," Fleming said. "Make sure you have it on a flat surface, make sure you don’t have it plugged into an extension cord if possible."
Capt. Fleming also said to keep the three-foot radius of the space heater clear.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says more than 25 thousand fires a year involve a space heater – resulting in more than three hundred deaths.
Already in Georgia in 2022, at least 14 people have died in fires.
Another key piece of advice, Capt. Fleming said, "making sure people have smoke detectors that will work. Something to delete them quickly in the event their space heater catches something on fire."
But just as dangerous – a threat you can’t see or smell.
"We definitely do not want people using a gas-powered generator in their home or right outside of a bedroom window or a kitchen window," Fleming said. "That can cause some carbon monoxide issues."
Morrow’s fire department will come out and check your smoke detectors and give you new ones for free if you need them. Check to see if your town has something similar.