Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. Portable space heaters, while popular, are often a contributing factor to home fires when not used properly. As we approach the home heating season here are some simple steps which can reduce the risk of fire when using a portable space heater.
- Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from any space heater.
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around the space heater.
- Only purchase space heaters bearing an Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual approval seal.
- Purchase a space heater with a thermostat to automatically shut off when the desired temperature is achieved.
- Only use space heaters which have a tip-over automatic shutdown feature.
- Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
- Replace/repair any space heater that’s missing guards, control knobs, feet, etc.
- Do not use space heaters in rooms that will not be continually occupied.
- Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways and paths of travel.
- Do not use space heaters in wet areas such as bathrooms or kitchens.
- Remember to turn portable space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.