Dozens killed every year in fires sparked by space heaters

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Jacksonville, Fl. – According to the U.S. Fire Administration, on average fires sparked by portable heaters lead to 65 deaths and 150 injuries a year, which is why we want to make sure you are staying safe if you use a space heater to stay warm during our cold nights.

The U.S. Fire Administration released six steps to follow before you use one:

  • Make sure a space heater is at least a three feet distance from anything that can catch fire

  • Never leave one unattended, including when sleeping

  • Keep away from pets and kids

  • Check for signs of malfunction

  • Do not plug into power strip, surge protector or extension cord

Captain Eric Prosswimmer with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department said space heaters can get very hot, very quickly and can cause fires if something comes in contact with one.

“If you have it by blankets, by papers, by loose items, they’re going to heat up to a point where they’re going to ignite and then you’re going to have a problem,” explained Prosswimmer.

“We’re always going to recommend you plug them into a wall, so directly into, directly into the wall because if you put them on an extension cord, they may not be able to handle the watts,” said Prosswimmer.

He also said it appears at least two fires that started Tuesday were related to cold weather, which is a reminder to check that your smoke detector is working. Change the battery regularly, too.

The City of Jacksonville has a partnership with JFRD to provide a free smoke detector to anyone living in Jacksonville. Call 630-CITY (2489) to make an appointment to have one installed.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4JAX – All rights reserved.

Post source: News 4jax

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