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Use caution with space heaters when warming rooms in winter

MADISON – The National Weather Service reminds residents about the danger of using space heaters in risky conditions.

During 2009 through 2013, space heaters accounted for four out of five deaths caused by home heating.

Home fires occur more in winter months than any other time of year. Individuals should maintain heating equipment and chimneys with annual cleaning and inspections.

Residents should place a space heater on a level, hard surface to avoid any chance of the device tipping over. Any flammable materials should be at least three feet away from the heating source.

Homeowners, apartment dwellers or other residents should turn off a space heater when they leave their home or go to bed. Do not leave the space heater unattended.

Never plug a space heater into a power strip. The weather service recommends the installation of carbon monoxide detectors to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

In long-range predictions, the National Weather Service’s 2017 U.S. winter outlook for December 2017 through February 2018 calls most likely for drier-than-normal conditions across the entire southern United States. (weather.gov)

However, most northern states can expect wetter-than-average conditions. The wet weather also should affect the northern Rockies, eastern Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and even in Hawaii and Alaska.

In temperature forecasts, warmer-than-normal conditions are most likely across the southern two-thirds of the continental United States, along the East Coast, Hawaii and Alaska. Below-average temperatures are favored along the Northern Tier of the country from Minnesota to the Pacific Northwest and in southeastern Alaska.

Usually not associated with winter but drought is likely to persist in parts of the northern Plains, although improvement is anticipated farther west. Drought could develop across scattered areas of the South, mainly in regions that missed the rainfall associated with the active 2017 hurricane season.

For more information, visit weather.gov/mob.

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