DENHAM SPRINGS -- Much colder temperatures will blanket the Deep South for the next week, which often makes work much busier for firefighters.
One year after a busy winter rife with house fires, Livingston Parish Fire Protection District No. 4 chief James Wascom urged residents throughout the area to take the necessary safety precautions during the first cold snap since March.
The 2017-18 season was one of the worst years for house fires in recent years in Livingston Parish. Space heaters were one of biggest culprits in home last winter, he said.
"It's definitely one of the leading causes of structural fires, particularly when left unattended and improperly maintained," Wascom said.
A space heater should be fully cleaned from lint and dust particles which could ignite.
"We also recommend using a space heater with a safety feature that shuts it off automatically in the event that it tips over," Wascom said. "People need to be diligent because space heaters can be extremely dangerous if not used properly -- in fact, they can be more dangerous than a fireplace."
He also urged homeowners to check the batteries in their smoke alarms, or replace them if they no longer work.
Overnight lows will range from the lower 30s to mid 40s throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service.