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Space heaters can catch your home on fire
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With temperatures dipping as low as minus 1 recently and a second arctic blast currently hitting Middle Tennessee, staying warm is a priority that shouldn’t cause devastation.
McMinnville Fire Department Chief Keith Martin wants to remind residents how crucial it is to keep fire safety in mind during the winter months when using portable heaters.
“The brutally cold conditions we have experienced can drastically increase fire risks during what is already a peak season for residential fires,” said Martin. “It is crucial to make fire safety a priority in and around our homes to avoid the devastation that can accompany frigid temperatures.”
Prevent a portable heater fire in your home this winter by following a few fire safety steps:
• Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave a room.
• Keep anything that can burn, including bedding, clothing, curtains, pets and people at least three feet away from portable heaters.
• Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory and with an automatic shut-off so if they tip over, they shut off.
• Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.
• Check the cord for fraying, cracking and look for broken wires or signs of overheating in the device itself.
• Never run the heater cord (or any cord) under rugs or carpeting.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an estimated 900 portable heater fires in homes are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 70 deaths, 150 injuries and $53 million in property loss.