For Immediate Release
Space Heater Safety Tips
As temperatures dip into the single digits, people will often supplement their home heating by using space heaters. Home heating is the second-leading cause of fires in the United States, and space heaters account for one-third of those fires. The key to utilizing space heaters safely is to make sure to follow a few simple rules:
- Ensure that the space heater is an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved appliance. Look for the UL label on the appliance itself. UL is an independent product safety certification organization.
- Look for heaters with automatic shut-off or tip-over switches.
- Follow the three-foot rule: Don’t place a space heater any closer than three feet from any objects that can burn, including furniture, bedding, curtains, wall, paper, and people.
- Space heaters should NEVER be left unattended. If you leave the room, turn the heater off.
- Going to bed with a space heater in the room can be dangerous and deadly, especially if you accidently throw the covers on top of the heater. Instead, add more blankets and more bed clothes to stay warm throughout the night.
- Space heaters are not designed to use power through an extension cord. Therefore, NEVER use an extension cord with a space heater. Extension cord overuse has resulted in three house fires in Springfield within the last few weeks, including one fire that resulted in the deaths of two individuals.
- Extension cords are not meant for continual use. Use it for the short-term use it was intended for, then unplug it.
- Use properly rated cords for their intended use only.
- NEVER plug an extension cord into an electrical power strip; this only adds to the overloading of the circuit.
- Remember to check the one-to-one ratio of one plug for one socket.
- NEVER cover up an extension cord with anything including rugs or carpeting. Covering up an extension cord increases the heat build-up in the cord and increases the chances of a fire occurring.
For more information, contact: Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines, (417) 864-1527.