Fire Prevention Month: Heaters, give them space

No doubt about it, fall is in full swing. One of the season’s hallmarks – fog – made a strong resurgence this week, bringing damp, cooler temperatures.

With nights dipping into the 40s, it’s no wonder so many of us are grabbing more blankets, reaching for the thermostat and dusting off our space heaters.

A leading cause of home fires

Before you get too cozy, consider this: heaters are one of the leading causes of home fires. Now is a great time to survey each room with a heat source to look for potential fire hazards.

When you do, remember this rule of thumb: Baseboard heaters need one-foot of clearance and portable space heaters need three-feet of clearance. Give them space!

Safety tips for home heaters

  • Never allow any item to drape across or be placed on top of a heater.
  • Move away any furniture, bedding and other materials placed too close to baseboard and portable heaters.
  • Make sure any portable heater is plugged directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord with a portable heater.
  • Turn off a portable heater before leaving the room or going to sleep.
  • When purchasing a heater, make sure it has been tested by an independent testing laboratory and features an automatic turn off if it tips over.

By keeping a watchful eye and giving heaters the space they require, it helps reduce the risk of a home fire. Now you can sit back and warmly (and safely) enjoy autumn’s beauty.