In November of 2010 there were 5 reported house fires, it is said that each one was caused by misuse of space heaters. If you use a space heater this fall and winter, here are some easy do’s and don’ts to follow.
- Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Older models may not meet these safety standards and it would wise to invest in a newer, safer model.
- The unit must have thermostatic controls and automatic shutoff features.
- You also need your building’s manager for approval prior to purchasing and using space heaters.
- Keep the space heater accessible – do not storage anything within three feet of the unit. The leading cause of space heater fires was combustibles too close to the heater.
- Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface – not on rugs or carpet or near bedding or drapes. It is best to keep heaters three-feet away flammable materials.
- Be sure to keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- The space heater must be plugged directly into an outlet. Do not use a light-duty extension cord or a multi outlet strip/surge protector; it can start a fire with a high-wattage appliance. The unit must be grounded with a three-pronged plug.
- You also need to run the power cord so that no one steps on or trips over it.
- Turn heaters off if you leave the area and unplug heaters when you leave for the day.
- Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep, and do not place heaters close to any other sleeping persons.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
- Do not use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.
Place smoke alarms
on every level of your home
, outside of sleeping areas
and inside each bedroom
. Guard against carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings as well by installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Make sure that your batteries in all alarms are fresh and working.
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