Mid-January is a great time to review some heating safety tips with everyone. Especially as energy costs rise, families are turning to space heaters as a less expensive alternative for keeping their houses warm this season. Space heaters may be a less expensive, but it is important to be aware of how to use them safely.
In 2010 alone, home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported home structure fires and 490 civilian deaths. Stationary and portable space heaters accounted for 32 percent of these reported home heating fires and 80 percent of the home heating fire deaths.
Independent of what equipment you use to heat your home, a fire can be prevented! If you decide to use a space heater this season to heat your home, keep the following tips in mind:
- All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters.
- Turn off heaters when you leave a room or go to bed
You can read more tips like these and download our safety tips sheets by visiting www.nfpa.org/safetytips.