Winter has arrived, along with bitter cold and freezing temperatures. In an effort to keep living and working spaces cozy, many residents and employees turn to alternative heat sources. The most common form of alternative heat comes from portable space heaters. These devices can generate a lot of extra heat, but if used improperly, can also create a serious safety hazard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Almost half of these deaths occur during the months of December, January, and February. Statistics show most of these fires also involved stationary or portable heaters. In 2009, heating equipment fires were responsible for an estimated $1.1 billion in direct property damage.
When used as directed and maintained properly, space heaters can be used safely. When purchasing a space heater, make sure it has been evaluated by an independent testing Laboratory; this will generally be indicated on the box or tag. Before operating the heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions. For more ways to minimize the risk of a heating related fire, review the tips list here:
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from the heating equipment, like furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Remember to turn off portable heaters when leaving a room.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
SERVPRO of Iredell County professionals are dedicated to restoring both the property and the lives of customers being helped. The number one goal is returning damaged areas and items to preloss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.”