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Las Vegas official: Be careful how you heat your home this winter

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FILE

As temperatures drop and the holidays near, many of us may be looking for ways to cozy up and stay warm. But the National Fire Protection Agency said there are nearly 500 deaths in the U.S. caused by heating fires in their home.

Most of these home heating fires takes place December through February, according to the agency. Melanie Dennon, a fire inspector for Las Vegas Fire and Rescue said regardless of whether you have a gas or wood-burning fireplace, how you use it matters.

“You want to keep things away, at least three feet, that can burn," she said.

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Space heaters are the No. 1 cause of fires. Dennon said use one that has a trip switch.

“So if you accidentally kick it over as you leave the room, it will turn off. And you can see that it automatically shut itself off.”

Many people may think they’re saving money by using their oven instead of the heater, but Dennon said it’s a dangerous decision.

“It just heats up for a long period of time. They’re not paying attention," she said.

Most importantly, Dennon said make sure you have properly working smoke detectors.

Yvette Fernandez is KNPR’s daily news reporter and announcer. She joined the station September 2021.