How to safely use space heaters

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo (KBSI) – When the weather starts to change from hot to cold, trying to stay warm is important. But doing it safely matters even more.  

Many people turn to space heaters as the temperatures change. Jackson Fire Rescue Captain Robert Grief says they can be dangerous if not used correctly.  

“Because 1700 fires a year contributed to space heaters and 80 deaths annually so this is a huge problem within our area across the United States as well,” said Grief. 

Greif says that in many cases, space heaters are misused. 

“Space heaters are intended to be used while they’re occupied while we were awake so that we can make sure and keep an eye on things space heaters are not used in rooms that are unoccupied,” Grief said, “Space heaters should be within their homes 3 feet from any combustibles they’re made to sit on the floor they’re not made to have extension cords hooked to them they’re made to be plugged directly into outlets so when people hook them into extension cords one thing, they like to do for trip hazards is cover the cord,” said Grief. 

Grief says to watch your children and pets around your space heater, not only to prevent a fire. But potential burns as well.  

Greif says that with proper education, the number of fires can be reduced.  

“If we can teach them and educate the public on fire prevention, we can help reduce fires in our community,” said Grief. 

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