Home heating safety tips from Brunswick County
BOLIVIA, N.C. – As the winter season approaches, the Brunswick County Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind residents to use caution with operating portable space heaters as they present potential fire hazards.
According to a National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report on U.S. Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment issued last year, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires and the third-leading cause of home fire deaths. More than half (53 percent) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fire that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.
Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for more than two of every five (43 percent) U.S. home heating fires and five out of six (85 percent) home heating fire deaths.
The following are important home heating safety and fire preparedness tips and recommendations:
- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing, rugs, and furniture.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
- Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms at least monthly.
- Place a smoke alarm on every level of your home outside sleeping areas and in each bedroom.
- Keep your bedroom door(s) closed when sleeping.
- Prepare and practice an escape plan – know at least two ways to get out of a room, crawl low under smoke and plan where to meet outside.
For media inquiries, contact the Public Information Officer at 910.253.2995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org