Nick McWilliams reporting – While the Tuscarawas Valley dips lower on the thermometer, residents are asked to keep safety tips in mind.

Furnaces and HVAC systems are firing up across the state to battle the cold, but every year, thousands of fires are caused by faulty systems or supplemental heat sources.

In the early part of 2022, a handful of tragedies were reported related to space heaters malfunctioning or running over night, something Dover Fire Captain Joe Minocchi says should always be avoided.

“When it’s warm, you’re going to be nice and cozy, and you’re going to sleep a little deeper. If you’re going to run it through the night, overnight, in a room you’re in, make sure that you have three feet of clearance. Make sure there is nothing that can get into that. That’s where one with a thermostat would come in handy.”

In addition to not running electric space heaters overnight, never utilize a fuel-burning space heater in an enclosed space.

Ensure all flammable materials are away from heat sources, and ensure ventilation grates are clear before using a furnace.

For wood stoves or fireplaces, only use clean, seasoned firewood to prevent sparking that can cause fires.

Air filters in furnace systems should be replaced at minimum every 90 days.

For more on fire safety and prevention, visit

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