Heating fire prevention - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Heating fire prevention

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During the winter months fire departments see an increase house fires. A majority of these winter fires are due to misuse of heating devices.

The national fire prevention association estimates that between 2009 and 2013 space heaters were the cause of 40% of home heating fires, and 84% of home heating fire deaths.

Proper use of space heaters is the key to preventing these tragedies. There are three main rules to follow when it comes to space heater safety.

"You want to maintain a three foot rule around the perimeter of the space heater," says Home Depot assistant manager Miranda Keller, "You do not want to use extension cords, and you always wanna shop for a space heater that has an overheat button or a tip over feature".

When shopping for alternative heating devices it is also important to make sure they are for indoor use. Propane and kerosene heaters can be responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning, and should only be used outdoors.

Chimneys can be a common cause of winter fires as well. Lieutenant Nick Cresanto of the Brookfield fire department recommends an annual inspection and cleaning to prevent incidents.

Even with proper use of heaters, firefighters recommend changing the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors during the time change, and replacing the detectors every ten years.

For more information about fire safety and prevention go to www.nfpa.org

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