Firefighters busy this month

By Alicia Nieves

January 19, 2014 Updated Jan 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The winter season has brought a rash of fires in the Southern Tier.

However, according to the Binghamton Fire Department, the recent amount of fires is typical this time of year.

“This time of year it’s very normal to have a rash of fires," said Captain Edward Bergman of the Binghamton Fire Department.

He added this time of year is commonly referred to as "Fire Season."

Bergman said the biggest cause for winter fires stems from heating systems and other electrical devices people use to stay warm.

He said it's not unsafe to use these devices as long as you use them properly.

"You should have an 18 to 36 inch area clear around them," Bergman added.

Another common cause for winter fires is overloaded electrical outlet.

Older homes may only have one or two outlets in a room, but Bergman said that's usually because that's all they can support.

Bergman cautioned that overloading an outlet can quickly spark and ignite an electric fire.

Lastly, Bergman said it is a good idea to have heating systems checked at least once a year.

"To service a heating system once a year, you are probably looking maybe at $100 or max $200," Bergman said.

However, he said that's usually better than the price tag to repair a fire damaged home.

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