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Portable Electric Heaters Safety Tip - Space heaters need space
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By Treasurer Mark Carrico
January 6, 2020

Space heaters need space. That's a key message from the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the United States Fire Administration (USFA), who are teaming up to reduce the risk of home heating fires this December, January and February, when half of all U.S. heating home fires occur. Space heaters annually account for 40 percent of reported U.S. home heating fires, and 84 percent of five associated civilian deaths.

As part of their joint fire safety campaign, "Put a Freeze on Winter Fires," NFPA and USFA urge everyone to practice extreme caution when using space heaters this season. Keep things that can burn at least 3 feet away from space heaters, and create a three-foot "kid-free zone" around them. Make sure to use equipment that has the label of a qualified testing laboratory, and have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.

For portable electric heaters:

• Place them on a solid, flat surface, away from high traffic areas and doorways. • Turn them off when you go to bed or leave the room. • Use and purchase heaters with an automatic shut off so if they're tipped over they will shut off. • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord. • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections; replace before using.

Winter fires are preventable! For more heating safety advice from NFPA and USFA's "Put a Freeze on Winter" campaign, visit

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