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Indiana fire marshal urges precautions when heating homes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – With bitterly cold weather settling over Indiana, State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson is cautioning Hoosiers to take steps to be safe with space heaters, candles and other means of alternative heating.

Greeson says people should consider other options such as warming clothing, blankets and heat-capturing barriers to window and doors before resorting to alternative heating.

He says space heaters should always be kept at least 3 feet away from loose or flammable objects such as clothing, curtains, bedding and furniture. And he says people should avoid using candles or appliances such as ovens to heat homes.

Fireplaces should be regularly cleaned and inspected by a certified professional.

Greeson says Indiana has more than 70 fire-related deaths last year, and in several cases there was not a working smoke alarm present.