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Springfield Fire Department News Releases

Posted on: December 28, 2020

Fire Department urges caution in using alternative sources of heat


Stay warm and safe this winter! 

Brrr! Your home’s heating systems are working double time to keep you safe this winter! Space heaters and fireplaces are sometimes used to warm specific areas in your home without having to crank up the thermostat; however, these alternative sources of heat do not come without risk. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires. During 2020, 60% of home fires related to heating sources within Springfield occurred during the months of December, January and February. 

By keeping these simple safety tips and precautions in mind, you can potentially prevent a heating fire from happening in your home: 

Space heaters:   

  • Plug directly into a wall outlet.  Do not use an extension cord. 
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from all heating equipment.
  • Keep heater in a low moisture room.  Moisture can damage the unit and cause a malfunction.
  • Turn off heaters before leaving your home or going to bed. 


  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Use dry and well-aged wood.
  • Install safety screens to reduce the risk of burns.
  • Keep anything flammable (i.e. newspapers, books, furniture, curtains) at least 3 feet away.
  • Ashes should be cooled before putting them in metal container; keep the container a safe distance away from your home and away from combustibles.  Tiny embers can lay latent for many days and suddenly spark if not properly taken care of.
  • Never leave a fireplace unattended. 

Other important safety tips:

  • Have working smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. 
  • Have working carbon monoxide monitors in a central location outside each sleeping area, on every level of your home, and in other areas as required by laws, codes, and standards. 
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.  
  • Review your home fire escape plan with all members of your household.

“One of the preventable mistakes we see is when something is placed too close to a heat source,” says Chief Pennington.  “Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from all heating sources.  Also make sure pets and children keep a safe distance.”

The Fire Department provides free smoke alarms to Springfield residents. Contact the Fire Department at 417-874-2300 or [email protected] to request one.

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Media inquiries are directed to the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.

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