BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts Fire Marshal Stephen Coan is advising consumers to use caution when warming homes with alternative heating sources during the region's cold snap.
Space heaters should be switched off at night and have a three-foot "circle of safety" free of items that can catch fire such as bedding and furniture.
Fire officials advise not to use extension cords with space heaters, but say if necessary, make sure a cord is rated for the same amps as the heater.
Coan says to never burn cardboard, trash or debris in fireplaces or wood stoves.
Fireplaces should have screens to keep sparks and embers from flying out.
Ashes should be disposed of outdoors in a metal can with a tight lid.
Coan also recommends installing fresh batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.