With this current cold snap, many of us are turning our furnaces on for the first time this season.  Before the first hard freeze hits, it's a good idea to fire up your furnace and make sure everything's running smoothly.  And as for space heaters, one local fire chief says to be especially cautious.

Many fires are caused by space heaters being misused, according to Alton Fire Chief Bernie Sebold.  He says getting flammables too close to the heat can be a big problem.

Sebold comments

He also says you should never run your space heater overnight while you sleep.  With furnace fires, something as simple as a ball of lint trapped in the heating ducts can start a blaze.  According to FEMA, heating is second only to cooking as the leading culprit behind residential fires in the fall and winter months.  For more information and fire safety tips, click here: www.nfpa.org

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com )