HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Sandra Adkins uses a space heater to keep her mobile home warm.
“It's the only heat I got,” Adkins said. “It's the only one that works.”
She says she worries about the dangers of space heaters, but she doesn’t have another option.
Her biggest fear is another one: “Waking up and the house being on fire,” Adkins said. “Not being able to get out.”
She says she tries to keep things safe for her grandson and herself. She never turns the space heater on at night and keeps the space around it clear. If it ever caught on fire, though, she doubts they’d be able to escape.
“I think that would be it,” Adkins said. “This trailer is pretty old. It would probably go pretty quick. I think that would be it for me and my child.”
The Chesapeake-Union (Ohio) Fire Chief says that is a legitimate concern.
“A space heater being used for your primary source of heat would be very dangerous,” Chief Ed Webb said. “They don't put out that much heat, and they're very vulnerable to being overloaded.”
He says taking precautions is crucial, especially keeping anything that could burn at least 3 feet away.
“Follow the instructions,” Webb said. “Be safe. Use it as if your life depended on it.”
For Adkins, she fears it’s a choice between freezing and burning.
“I don't want anything like that to happen,” she said. “But we need to stay safe and we need to stay warm.”
Both are big challenges as winter gets closer.
For fire safety prevention tips, there is a direct link from the Featured Links here at WSAZ.com.