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Space heater safety tips

Richland, Wash., October 8, 2012

Space Heater

It's starting to get colder at night and people are turning on heaters for the first time in a while. Some heaters however, are more dangerous than others and can lead to very serious fires.

Radiators, ceramic heaters, and propane heaters are three commonly used space heaters to keep homes warm during chilly nights.

Often what sparks a fire with heaters is people leave them in places where a blankets or drapes could touch them and start a fire.

A ceramic heater will be the bigger indoor threat with that type of fire. The radiator is your safest bet for indoors because it circulates oil inside the frame. The propane heater must stay outside at all times.

"Make sure it's being used for its intended purpose. If you have a space heater, make sure it's rated indoor use only and then just protect everything around. Make sure you put it in a big open area. Make sure it's not sitting on something that's flammable. Think smart and think ahead," said Devin Helland, Firefighter Captain from Benton County Fire District #1.

Captain Helland also says he has seen how devastating these fires can be and it's commonly because someone just didn't put their heater in a safe place.

So when turning on those space heaters again you have to remember that it is important which one you use and where you put it. Also remember to keep it away from all objects and always remember to read the warning labels.

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National Oilheat Research Alliance ECC is funded in part through the National Oilheat Research Alliance.