On Friday, December 15th a 4 year old child woke to find a fire spreading through her family’s apartment. She immediately yelled “FIRE”, waking her family in time to exit the apartment. Although the child’s younger sister did suffer burns to her right foot, all of those in the apartment survived the blaze.
Early reports from the FDNY indicate the blaze was caused by a space heater plugged into an extension cord. Although space heaters are a necessary means of keeping warm for many New Yorkers, they are often the cause of serious and even deadly fires.
Here are space heater safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:
- Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy, metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are even more common than flame burns.
- All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
- Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- Never use your oven for heating.
- Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Have a qualified professional install the equipment.
- Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death. Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow and ice around the outlet to the outside.
- Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.
If you or a loved one were injured in a preventable fire contact us today.