Ohio firefighters issue space heater safety warning as winter nears

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WORTHINGTON, Ohio (WJW) — The Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association is reminding citizens to be safe if using a space heater this winter.

The association acknowledges that with colder temperatures people find themselves wanting to use space heaters.

If you choose to use one, officials say to plug the heater directly into wall outlets — DO NOT plug them into a power strip or extension cord.

Power strips and extension cords are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat, causing a fire hazard.

The City of Columbus Division of Fire has also provided some simple tips that can prevent most heating-related fires from happening:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly

More fire safety tips, here.

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