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NFPA offers this tip – give your space heater some space

January 22, 2013 Areawide, Local News No Comments
In 2010 alone, home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported home structure fires and 490 civilian deaths.  Poster source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

In 2010 alone, home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported home structure fires and 490 civilian deaths. Poster source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

With temperatures making a dramatic drop this week, here are some good safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Especially as energy costs rise, families are turning to space heaters as a less expensive alternative (or as supplemental heat) for keeping their houses warm this season… so 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.

So, if you decide to use a space heater this season, keep these safety tips in mind:

All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment – this includes 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.

Editor’s note: Also make sure you have fresh batteries in your smoke detector, and if your heater burns fuel, make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly.

You can read more tips like these and download NFPA safety tips sheets by visiting www.nfpa.org/safetytips.

Originally written by Anice Barbosa for NFPA; edited by HTNP News Editor Brenda Sullivan

Posted January 22, 2013

Related link: FEMA fire prevention tips http://www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/home_fire_prev/heating/hotspot.shtm

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