Property Damage Services in Maryland, Virginia & Washington DC
Space Heaters and Winter Fire Damage

Space Heaters and Winter Fire Damage

You might be surprised to learn that stationary and portable space heaters accounted for 56,000
house fires between 2009 and 2013. 470 people lost their lives in these blazes, and nearly 1,500 were injured (along with the billion dollars of property damage). Space heater fires account for a staggering percentage of house fires in the United States: 16%. Heating fires are the most common kind of winter house fire, and 2/5 are caused by space heaters. These fires are most common between December and February, placing us squarely in the space heater house fire season. If you’re an Alexandria homeowner who takes advantage of the heating savings that space heaters can provide, make sure to use them safely. If you don’t, you may need the assistance of an Alexandria fire restoration expert like Property Solutions. Below are a few tips that can help you avoid a potentially lethal disaster.

  1. Read instructions. Space heaters are acknowledged to carry a certain amount of risk, and as such are shipped with important safety information specific to the make and model. Make sure to look over these materials to make sure that you’re adhering to the standards set by the testing laboratory that created them!
  2. Pay attention. You should never leave a space heater unattended, or go to sleep with one on. If something goes wrong in your absence (the unit is knocked over by a pet, there’s an electrical failure, a curtain blows near it and gets hung up) then it may be too late once you realize what has happened.
  3. Install smoke detectors and ensure that they’re working. As a general practice, homes should have smoke detectors on every floor. Make sure that there are fresh batteries installed in each of them so that they’ll alert you if there’s a fire!
  4. Don’t use a power strip or extension cord. Make sure to plug space heaters into the wall directly. Extenders have a tendency to overheat and sometimes catch fire when attached to a device that uses more energy than the extender is rated for. When your heater is plugged into the wall, make sure that it’s the only device plugged into that outlet.
  5. Make sure that space heaters are stable. Never lean a space heater on the edge of a carpet, a book, clutter, or anything that will put it off balance. Try to avoid placing a space heater on carpet at all. In the event that a heating element makes contact with the floor, carpet, or other flammable material if it tips over, right it as quickly as possible and use a fire extinguisher if there’s a blaze.
  6. Have a fire extinguisher ready in your home. Every house should have a fire extinguisher that’s easily located by family and guests alike.
  7. Inspect your space heater before each use. Remember that if a space heater is damaged, it can be extremely dangerous. Look for loosened plugs, connections, and visible corrosion or other signs of unusual wear and tear.

Remember to contact the Alexandria fire damage restoration experts at Property Solutions if disaster strikes this winter. We’re experienced fire restoration professionals and we work hand in hand with insurance companies and homeowners to ensure that their property is restored fully and satisfactorily. Contact us 24/7!

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