Share Space Heater Safety Tips with Members
The cold weather is about to arrive in many parts of the country, bringing with it the increased threat of fires due to the improper use of electric space heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for one-third of home-heating fires and three-fourths of home-heating fire deaths.
To help your members stay safe this winter, it's a good idea to share with them a few safety guidelines for using space heaters. Include these tips, from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in your community newsletter, in a memo, and on common area bulletin boards:
- Make sure that the heater is placed on a level, hard, and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes.
- Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- To reduce the risk of fire, never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
- Never leave a space heater unattended; turn it off if you leave the area.
- Never use extension cords to power electric heaters.
- Use only a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, and that is equipped with automatic safety switches that turn off if the unit is tipped over accidentally.
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