The Jefferson City Fire Department reminded residents in a news release Thursday to be safe when using space heaters and other supplemental heating sources as the weather gets colder.
Space heaters are the cause of one third of home fires and 80 percent of home-heating fire deaths, according to the department's news release — adding a simple tip, "Space heaters need space!"
Further tips for using supplemental heating sources include:
Keep combustible materials, including one's self, at least three feet from a space heater.
Do not leave children unattended in a room with a space heater.
Only use UL-approved devices, and open-face heaters should have a screen and a tip-switch that shuts off a space heater if it falls over.
Have working smoke alarms at home.
Provide ventilation to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
For vented gas or fired heating appliances such as central heating units, floor furnaces, recessed wall heaters and vented space heaters:
Get appliances inspected annually by a qualified technician, before it gets cold outside.
Make sure units have proper vent pipes that take exhaust outside.
Follow manufacturers' recommendations for proper usage.
For electric heaters:
Do not overload outlets or breakers.
Do not use extension cords for a heater, and if a cord is hot to the touch, turn off the heater and unplug it.
Make sure to regularly remove lint and dust from electric heaters permanently installed in a wall or ceiling. Lint and dust will burn.
The Jefferson City Fire Department is available for further information at 573-634-6401.