Fire safety blunders that put your home at risk

COLUMBIA (WACH)-- When temperatures drop, the risk of house fires increases.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is the leading cause of home fires.

The Columbia-Richland Fire Department wants you to stay warm safely this winter.

â??We realize that when the temperatures drop, people want to use supplemental heaters,â?? said Chief Aubrey Jenkins. â??The only thing we tell people, they are safe to use, if you use them safely.â??

The department offers these tips to reduce the risk of home fires:

- Keep heaters at least three feet away from furniture

- Use heating equipment thatâ??s been tested by a reputable company

- Turn space heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep

- Have your chimney or wood stove inspected annually

- Never restrict air supply to fireplaces.