NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) — The temperature is dropping and that means it’s time to turn on the heat, bring out the space heaters, and start up your fireplace.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. However, there are some simple steps that prevent most heat-related fires from happening.
First, make sure you have at least one functioning smoke alarm on each level of your home.
Before you purchase a space heater, make sure it has no recalls and that it has a tip over switch.
Keep the space heater at least three feet away from anything combustible.
Remember to plug it directly into an outlet, not into an extension cord, and turn it off before leaving the room or going to bed.
“There are a lot of fires that are caused by electric space heaters and it’s ones — the older ones that don’t have the tip over switch. If they get knocked off or if your pets are there, your children, or just in the house itself — if it’s on an uneven surface it can tip over,” Kyle Curry, Deputy Director of Emergency Operations for the Washington County Emergency Management said.
Curry says if you heat your home with a fireplace, make sure that a certified professional cleans out and inspects the chimney every year.
For more tips on how to keep your family safe with heating equipment, visit NFPA, NIST, and CPSC.