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Recent Fire Highlights Importance of Heater Safety

In the early morning hours near Red Bluff, California, a fire destroyed a mobile home and spread to adjacent homes, seriously damaging them. The home's occupant suffered severe burns and was rushed to an area hospital. Officials say that the fire was caused by a space heater that had been placed too close to flammable materials.

Heating equipment is involved in a staggering number of fires. In 2009, the National Fire Protection Association estimates that heaters were responsible for 58,900 or 18 percent of home fires. In 2009 alone, these fires caused a total of $1.1 billion in property damage, killed 480 people and injured 1,520. Space heaters are deadly in particular. Statistics show that they are responsible for 80 percent of deaths from fires caused by heating equipment.

Space Heater Safety Tips

Following some commonsense space heater safety tips can ensure that you stay warm and injury-free this winter.

  • Before using your space heater, look it over to check for loose connections or wires that are frayed. If there are any of these defects, do not use the heater.
  • Place the space heater at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire, including paper, curtains, furniture and other fabrics.
  • Place the heater in an area out of reach of children.
  • Do not use the space heater on a rug.
  • To avoid electrocution, keep the heater in a dry area and do not touch it if you are wet.
  • Unplug the space heater when it is not in use or before going to bed.
  • Avoid burns by letting the heater cool at least five minutes before moving it to a different location.

Space heaters, like other products, can sometimes have flaws in its design or contain defects. If believe that you were injured by an unsafe space heater or other heating appliance, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can review your situation and assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries.

Source: Redding.com, "Tehama County resident injured in fire," 12/19/2011.

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