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Heaters Can Pose Fire Risks

November 15, 2012 Jackson Hole, Teton County, Town of Jackson No Comments
space heater fire

There’s no question that the cold, damp weather the past couple weeks has made people turn to a variety of sources of heat in their homes.  However, how those appliances are used can mean the difference of life and death, as evidenced by several reports across the nation.  Fire Marshal Kathy Clay urges Jackson Hole residents if they haven’t already done so, check to see nothing has migrated up against their homes’ baseboard heat or wood stoves.  She says now is the time to look at all the baseboards, underneath and behind the wood-burning stove for things like socks, newspaper, clothing or any other combustibles that may have gone unnoticed.  Clay says anything that can burn – plastics, clothing, draperies, newspapers, boxes, wood or other combustibles – needs to be kept three feet away from heat sources.  Clay says current home furnishings have actually become more flammable and can become fulling involved in as little as 3½ minutes.  Clay adds that those using electric space heaters need to be sure to place them where they are not likely to be tipped over and never use an extension cord to connect them to power, as Clay says they pull tremendous amounts of power that can easily overload and overheat the extension cord.  She adds that space heaters need to be monitored, watching animals and children around them not only for the injuries they could suffer, but for the fire hazard that could be caused if the heater is upset.  Clay shared several stories over the past week where space heaters and baseboard heaters started home fires that not only cause hundreds of thousands of dollars nationwide, but some were fatal as well.

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