Sunday, December 14, 2008

Space Heaters Can Be Dangerous

Its that time of year when we see cooler temperatures. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires during the winter months. According to the most recent NFPA research report, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 62,200 reported U.S. home structure fires, causing 670 civilian deaths, 1,550 civilian injuries, and $909 million in direct property damage.

To help keep our community safe and warm this season, here are some recommended guidelines:

• Space heaters need space. Keep all things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
• Turn portable heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
• Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
• Inspect for cracked, frayed or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.
• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For the best protection interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home — when one sounds, they all sound. Test smoke alarms at least once a month.
• Never use an oven to heat your home.

As the City's Fire Marshal the use of portable space heaters in the workplace is discouraged, however if they are permitted please make sure that it is used in a safe manner and turned off at the end of the day, better yet just unplug it.

Have a safe a Holiday Season.

Marc Celetti
Deputy Fire Chief
Operations & Fire Prevention Bureau
Lauderhill Fire Rescue

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