Corfu Volunteer Fire Department
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Fire Prevention Week Tip

October 10, 2023 07:17 PM

Winter is coming, and many of us may be looking for ways to keep our homes cozy and comfortable. Space heaters can be a great option for adding some extra warmth, but they also come with some risks. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), space heaters are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in the US. That’s why it’s important to follow some simple but effective tips to use space heaters safely and prevent fires.

Tip #1: Keep it at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn

One of the most common causes of space heater fires is placing them too close to flammable objects, such as furniture, curtains, bedding, or papers. These items can easily catch fire if they come in contact with the hot surface or the heating element of the space heater. To avoid this, make sure to keep your space heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn. Also, place your space heater on a flat, stable surface that can support its weight and prevent it from tipping over.

Tip #2: Don’t leave it unattended

Another common cause of space heater fires is leaving them on when no one is around or when you are sleeping. This can be dangerous because you may not notice if something goes wrong, such as a malfunction, a power surge, or a fire. To prevent this, always turn off your space heater when you leave the room or go to bed. You can also use a timer or a thermostat feature to automatically turn off your space heater after a certain period of time or when the desired temperature is reached.

Tip #3: Plug it directly into the outlet

A third common cause of space heater fires is using an extension cord or a power strip to plug in your space heater. This can be hazardous because these devices may not be able to handle the high amount of electricity that your space heater draws, and they can overheat and catch fire. To prevent this, always plug your space heater directly into the wall outlet. Also, avoid plugging in other appliances or devices into the same outlet as your space heater, as this can overload the circuit and cause a fire.

Tip #4: Make sure to have a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm

A fourth tip to use your space heater safely and prevent fires is to have a working smoke and carbon monoxide alarm in your home. These devices can alert you in case of a fire or a gas leak from your space heater or other sources, and give you time to escape or call for help. To ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working properly, test them monthly, replace the batteries at least once a year, and replace the entire unit every 10 years.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort of your space heater without putting yourself and your family at risk of fire. Remember, cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention. Happy Fire Prevention Week!