Home Heating Fires
HOME HEATING FIRES
• Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.**
• Fixed and portable space heaters, including wood stoves, are involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths.**
• Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood/coal stoves to stay warm.*
• Each year over 200 people die from carbon monoxide produced by fuel burning appliances in the home including furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters.***
• The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*
• Only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.*
• Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.*
• Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**
- Keep all potential sources of fuel like paper, clothing, bedding or rugs at least three feet away from space heaters, stoves, or fireplaces.
- Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- When buying a space heater, look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over as another safety measure.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
- Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.
- Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys, and furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned once a year.
- Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to prevent heating fires.
Sources: American Red Cross,* U.S. Fire Administration,** and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.***
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