HOUSTON (KIAH) –  With wintry weather conditions passing through Texas this week, fire officials are urging residents to be careful when using space heaters.  In the U.S. about 80% of home heating fire deaths involve space heaters and nearly half of home heating fires are in January and February according to the National Fire Protection Association.

But be cautious. In the past few years, several fatal Texas fires were started by space heaters.”

Orlando Hernandez, State Fire Marshall

The following are tips if you plan on using a space heater in your home this winter:

•       Inspect a heater before you use it and make sure there are no cracked or broken plugs or loose connections.

•       Always plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet.

•       Be sure to keep your space heater at least three feet from anything that can burn.

•       Before you leave the room or go to bed turn off your space heaters. Also search for models that shut off automatically when tipped over.

For a list of more suggestions on space heater safety to prevent fires, visit the Texas Department of Insurance website.