ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An electric space heater malfunction is said to be the cause of a tragic fire in New York City, killing 17 people in total. Here in the Capital Region, just last week, a space heater was also to blame for a fire in Troy. Firefighter, Art Hunsinger, shared advice with NEWS10 ABC to help prevent other fires from happening.

“They put off a lot of heat,” said Hunsinger. “When you put them too close to a bed or a couch, or something that is combustible, it may not happen nine out 10 times, but that tenth time, it’s gonna make it hot enough and it’s wearing it down. That item is going to burst into flames, and now you’ve got yourself a fire.”

Hunsinger said if you’re going to use a space heater, it’s best to plug it directly into an outlet on the wall and remember to turn it off, especially before you go to bed.

“If you haven’t had your furnace checked, and your filters changed, you really need to do that, because your heating systems are going to work extra, extra hard when the temperatures start getting colder and colder,” stated Hunsinger.

Frozen pipes can also cause flooding if you’re not careful.

“Check for drafts around your basement windows, check for drafty windows, or screen doors or porches that might be loose,” advises Alan Ayers, Vice President of Crisafulli Brothers Plumbing and Heating. “If you have something that might have given you a problem in the past, tonight I would turn that faucet on and trickle some water through it to help the plumbing pipes from freezing.”