One of the fastest ways to heat up a room or supplement your home’s heating system is to turn on a space heater. However, this convenient appliance can quickly turn into a disaster.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that half of all winter fires occur in the months of December, January and February and are caused by space heaters. Space heater home fires typically occur in the early evening, between the hours of 5PM and 9PM, with the period from 6PM to 8PM being the most dangerous. Space heaters are a fire ignition agent. When a flammable item is placed too close to the space heater, a fire can start easily. Between the period of 2009 to 2013 there were 56,000 home fires caused by space heaters; 470 people died from these fires; and 1,490 people were injured from space heater fires. Property damage totaled $1.0 billion.
Reasons a Space Heater Can Cause a Fire
The NFPA identified the leading factors contributing to home space heating fires. The main causes are failing to clean the chimney and failing to clean the creosote from the solid-fueled space heating equipment. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) determined that after cooking, heating is the number two cause of home fires.
The NFPA identifies three main ways a space heater can cause a fire in the home. They are:
- The space heater is too close to flammable agents or things that burn easily such as clothes, curtains, mattresses, throws, area rugs, bedding or upholstered furniture like an ottoman or sofa.
- The space heater is left unattended while on. People leave the home or fall asleep prior to turning off the space heater.
- The space heater is placed too close to heating equipment. For example, do not place the space heater inside the fireplace. Chimneys are often dirty and full of debris. The USFA found that 84% of all home heating fires were confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners.
Protecting Your Family and Belongings
Space heater fires can be avoid by following these safety tips.
- Place the space heater on a hard, level, and nonflammable surface.
- Maintain a space of at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.
- Keep children and pets away from the space heater.
- If you leave home, turn off the space heater. Never leave a space heater running while unattended.
- Make sure smoke detectors on every level of the home are in working order.
- Do not use an extension cord. Plug the space heater directly in the outlet.
Injured by a Space Heater Fire in Massachusetts?
Experienced Boston Area Personal Injury Attorneys – Initial Consultations Are Always Free – No Fee Unless We Recover For You
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a space heater fire, then call the space heater fire lawyers at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan today. We have a proven track record with over 35 years of legal experience. Our fire accident attorneys have successfully represented victims of fires for decades and we are ready to take on your case today.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call our law offices today to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 588-0422 or click the link below to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
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