Birmingham Fire & Resue Service offers some safety tips to help residents properly use space heaters.
-Remember that space heaters are temporary heat sources and should not be used for extended periods of time. Electric space heaters use a lot of energy and may cause an electrical short that can lead to a fire.
-Space heaters need space. Place them at least three feet away from anything that could potentially burn. That includes beds, sheets, curtains, and furniture.
-Keep children and animals away from space heaters.
- Never leave space heaters unattended. If you must leave the room, turn the heater off.
-Never wear loose fitting clothes near a space heater.
-Never use an electric space heater in the bathroom or near water.
-Never place anything on top of a space heater.
-Don't use a space heater to dry items.
-Buy a space heater with an automatic tip-over switch. These will turn it off in the event it's knocked over.
-Only use space heaters that have been tested and approved by an accredited laboratory.
-Space heaters should be properly cleaned like other machines. Check it for dust, lint and paper.
-Check wires on the space heater to make sure they aren't frayed, broken or exposed.
-If you use a kerosene heater, keep the room well-ventilated to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
-Before refueling a kerosene heater, make sure the machine has cooled, use the proper fuel and always refill outside the house.
-Have a working smoke detector on every level of your residence in the event there is a fire.
-Plan and practice home exti drills in the event of a fire.
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