ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As temperatures dropped, calls for fire assistance increased. Since Friday night, there have been several house fires in Troy and Albany alone. Troy Fire Chief Eric McMahon said that these fires have created harsh working conditions for firefighters. 

“It’s brutally cold and makes the fire incredibly difficult. Everything freezes up, the equipment doesn’t like it, and it’s very difficult and rough on our members.”

Even though these fires are still under investigation, fire experts believe space heaters could be the cause.

Art Husinger, former Chief of Clifton Park Fire, said that many fires happen around this time of year because of heating devices, which are used to help save money on oil or other types of heating fuel.

Even though the newer space heaters have become safer… and turn off when tipped over, Husinger mentioned that many forget where these devices should be placed. He advises that they shouldn’t be placed near areas with a pile of newspaper…or even a couch.

“The biggest problem is…keeping them too close to combustibles and turning them up so they get so hot that the side of a couch could get hot enough that it will start to deteriorate, smolder, and then eventually burn,” Husinger said.

If someone has a kerosene heater, those devices need to be vented since they can release carbon monoxide. When it comes to frozen pipes, one good tip is to keep any faucets that need to be used slightly on with a light drip. The dripping will allow the water to continue to flow and make it harder to freeze.

He also mentioned there are simple solutions for frozen pipes…when used with caution.

“You can use a hair dryer, stuff like that…to help to thaw the pipes. The problem is if you use anything too long and it gets too hot, you may start something else on fire.”

That’s because there can be something like old leaves or other items around the pipes. Another reason to make sure to stay cautious of your surroundings to stay safe.