Simple Household Items Could Be Fire Hazards

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PANAMA CITY BEACH - Household items like extension cords are some of the main causes of house fires.

As you take down the holiday decorations, you may run into some fire hazards that you might not have previously considered. One of those is right in your kitchen.

"Cooking fires. That's one of the big things during the holiday season," said Lt. Todd Heath of the Panama City Beach Fire Rescue. "They get busy doing things in another part of the house and then they forget that they have something on the stove and next thing you know, the kitchen is up in flames."

Heath says, fortunately, the holiday season has been relatively quiet for the Panama City Beach Fire Rescue, but he says there's one hazard that sticks out from the rest: extension cords.

Experts recommend you throw out any extension cords with frayed ends, and buy new ones. You also need to make sure it can handle the power load you're placing on it.

"You never want to leave any extension cord plugged in for more than 24 hours, said Val Bates, a Home Depot Department Manager. "You run the risk of power surges, stuff like that, and different appliances have different voltages."

For instance, a string of LED Christmas lights needs a lot less electricity than a hair drier.

As cold weather continues to move through our area, many people will turn to space heaters.

"Space heaters can be a problem. You have to keep them a certain distance away from all ignitables. We do not recommend the kerosene heaters," said Heath.

Manufacturers recommended you avoid plugging space heaters into extension cords.

Firefighters say a lot of the new space heaters have automatic shut-off features, in case the heater tips over.


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