Last week a Georgia mother and her grown son lost their lives in a fire that officials in Statesboro say was caused by improper space heater use.  Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King is emphasizing the proper use of space heaters as people begin to use them this year.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:

  • Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
  • Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
  • Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.

Also, be sure that your home is equipped with working smoke detectors.  Most people who die from home fires are in a house that doesn’t have working smoke detectors.  That was the case in last week’s fatal fire in Statesboro, Georgia.

GNN / Compiled Sources