SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As Missouri starts to finally feel like fall, the Springfield Fire Department is warning about the dangers of space heaters.
According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, space heaters are responsible for one-third of home heating fires and about 80% of home heating fire deaths.
Since 2016, the Springfield Fire Department has responded to 106 residential house fires that were caused by a heating appliance.
If you use portable space heaters, here are some safety tips:
- Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
- Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from people or anything that can burn.
- Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
- Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
- Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
- Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit.
- Keep children away from the space heater.
- Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
- Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.
According to Fire Chief David Pennington, a working smoke alarm is the best way to be alerted of a fire and alarms should be replaced every 10 years.