HFD: Space heater safety tips

HOUSTON—The Houston Fire Department is reminding residents of the dangers of portable heaters by offering safety tips as temperatures continue to drop. According to HFD, heating devices cause more than 100 fires in the City of Houston each year, resulting in numerous injuries and possible death.

If you plan to use a space or portable heater to keep warm, here are a few helpful things to know.

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm.
  • Never leave children unattended in a room with a space heater – Children knock over space heaters especially if they are placed on top of wobbly tables or stools and near where the children play. Children may also stick paper or toys in the grates of the space heaters especially gas space heaters. The city had two reported fires in 2004 caused by children playing with space heaters.
  • Keep all combustible materials, including yourself at least 3 feet from the heater
  • Open face heaters should have a screen
  • Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

Electric heaters can also be hazardous for you and your family. If and when you decide to use an electric heater keep these tips in mind.

  • Never overload outlets or breakers
  • Don’t use extension cords for the heater. If the cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it!
  • Electric heaters permanently installed in the wall or ceiling should have lint and dust removed regularly. Lint and dust will burn!

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