(CBS DETROIT) – Your home should serve as a safe haven and protection from the elements, but using heating equipment as a source of warmth can sometimes be deadly says Lieutenant Edward Davis with the Detroit Fire Department.

“People trying to save money or they don’t have the resources for traditional heating methods they’ll use alternative space heaters.”

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Davis says and this can be a fatal mistake. A fire in a group home in the 14 thousand block of Lauder on Detroit’s Westside Saturday, claimed the lives of two men.

“It’s Possible that a space heater malfunctioned”

Davis says the fire is still under investigation. A space heater may have also caused a fire at a home on Burns street near I-94 on the city’s Eastside last Thursday February 18th. That fire claimed the life of one person and is also under investigation. Davis says its important space heaters are used properly.

“You want to use electrical if possible and they’re mainly for heating one room plug it directly into the outlet, not into an extension cord, you don’t want to leave it unattended.”

According to Davis should never use an oven as a heating source, and when using a fireplace be sure its cleaned from prior use. He says heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the US and more than 65,000 home fires are attributed to this each year.

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“Always be prepared for the unexpected”

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