Detailed Report Released on Dangers of Portable Heaters

Detailed Report Released on Dangers of Portable Heaters

Detailed Report Released on Dangers of Portable Heaters

On September 27, 2012, the USFA under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported that a special report has been published on portable heater fires and residential buildings. 

The numbers are not surprising, as the link between portable heaters and fires has long been noted.  However, the numbers are startling in some cases.  

•    The USFA states that fire departments in the U.S. report about 900 portable heater fires in residential buildings every year, and on average, 70 deaths and 150 injuries occur from these fires
•    Although only 2 percent of residential building fires are caused by portable heaters, the heaters were involved in  45 of all fatalities from fires
•    52 percent of the portable heater fires started because the heater was too close to a combustible
•    38 percent of the fire started in bedrooms, and bedding like blankets and comforters resulted in fires the most
•    26 percent of all portable heater fires occurred in January

Even though portable heaters are small, they can cause a huge amount of damage in a short amount of time.  Take the following preventative steps when using a portable heater in your home:

•    turn the heaters off when you sleep or leave the room
•    only use portable heaters that automatically shut off if they are tipped over
•    inspect the heaters from year to year by checking for damaged cords, broken plugs, or loose connections
•    if you’re using a portable kerosene space heater or a similar kind of heater, make sure you’re using the right grade of fuel

Source: U.S. Fire Administration




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