Lafayette Fire Department Spokesman Alton Trahan wants to remind the community about a few things to keep in mind since the next few nights will be colder than our usual temperatures over the last few weeks.

Trahan says that newer model space heaters have safety features designed to make the products safer, but he says you still must think about several factors when using a space heater.  Trahan says space heaters are not designed to be plugged into extension cords, and doing so can cause the extension cord to become over heated. He says, "cause they draw so much current out of the heater, it can overheat that extension cord, and often time, that's where the fire starts."

Another safety tip from Trahan is that when using a space heater, even if it has a "shut off" feature for when it is tipped over, or other "safety' features,  you must always follow the usage instructions for the public.  Trahan says space heaters must remain at least three feet from blankets, other bedding, clothing or any other flammable object.

During the months where cold weather does stay for a few days, Trahan says the fire department will often receive reports of fires where the occupants may be using the stove or oven to heat the home.  Trahan says it is very easy for a fire to start if you leave your stove or oven unattended.  He suggests adding multiple layers of clothing at night if you are trying to warm up.

Trahan has a final tip for you.  He says remember if you are turning on your heater in your home for the first time this year, you might notice a burnt smell, he says that's often just dust that has accumulated over the year.  He says don't panic.  He adds though, anytime you think there is a fire in your home, dial 911 quickly and leave your home.