Albertville firefighters responded to a fire caused by improper use of a space heater

ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- Albertville firefighters responded to a house fire that they determined was started by a space heater left on with furniture too close to it. Chief Brad Hix says they  usually respond to several fires a season that are caused by using a space heater improperly.

"Space heaters are safe if they're used properly," Hix said.

He said don't use one on the carpet or rug, and keep combustible material at least three feet away. That includes furniture, blankets, and curtains.

"Do not use extension cords. Do not leave them unattended with small children or pets, where they might get turned over," Hix added.

When you leave a room turn it off. "Do not leave it running overnight, do not leave the house with it on," Hix said. "If you can read on the manufacturer's box, or the paperwork that comes with it, it has the recommendations on the proper use of it."

Another good practice: clean the heater off from the year's worth of dust it has probably collected before you use it.