(WWLP) – As the weather cools and space heater usage goes up, 22News is working for you with safety tips to prevent a fire in your home.
According to the State Fire Marshal, 148 fires caused by a space heater were reported between 2010 and 2019. Of those, 1 in every 74 space heater fires is deadly. In that same 9-year-period, space heater fires caused 2 deaths, 16 injuries, 28 fire service injuries and an estimated $10.9 million in damages.
The following information is provided by the state fire marshal’s office.
- When buying a heater, look for one that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL).
- Keep the heater 3-feet away from drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
- Place the heater on a level surface away from areas where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
- Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy duty cord marked with a power rating at least as high as that on the label of the heater itself.
- Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep.
- Supervise children and pets when a space heater is in use.
- Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
- The sale and use of unvented kerosene heaters is illegal in Massachusetts.