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Old 12-09-2006, 01:56 PM   #1
bsmeaton
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Be Safe with Space Heaters

Just the latest facts on fires and deaths from fires caused by space heaters, both electric and fueled. BE SAFE OUT THERE!

Home heating remains second highest cause of fire in the home
NFPA report shows 73% of home heating fire deaths attributed to space heaters
November 29, 2006 — As temperatures drop outdoors and people take steps to warm their homes, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urges the public to be mindful of the risks associated with home heating which is second only to cooking when it comes to causes of home fires. Along with the colder temperatures that accompany winter, there is an elevated risk of dying from fire during this season with December, January and February generally being the deadliest months for fires.

According to a newly released NFPA study, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 53,000 reported home structure fires in the United States in 2003. The study includes fires associated with chimneys and chimney connectors, space heaters, central heating, fireplaces, water heaters and heat tape. These fires accounted for 14% of all home fires and were responsible for an estimated 260 deaths, roughly 1,300 injuries and $500 million in direct property damage.

Although space heaters, excluding fireplaces and chimneys, were responsible for one-fourth (26%) of home heating fires in 2003, they were the most deadly, accounting for three-fourths (73%) of the fire deaths related to home heating. Space heaters also were responsible for three out of every five injuries (58%) in home heating fires in 2003 and half (51%) of the associated property damage.

According to the report, space heaters present a greater fire risk than central heating systems. Space heaters tend to be closer to household combustibles and the people occupying the home, and they tend to require a more direct role by occupants in fueling, maintenance, and operation.

Even so, any widely used heating device can be used safely, if the rules of safety are followed.

NFPA suggests the following for safe heating:
• Maintain a 3 feet (or 1 meter) separation between things that can burn and heating equipment.
• When buying a new space heater, make sure it carries the mark of an independent testing laboratory and is legal for use in your community. (Some communities do not permit portable kerosene heaters, for example.)
• Install your stationary (fixed) space heater according to manufacturer’s instructions or applicable codes or better yet, have it installed by a professional.
• Plug your electric-powered space heater into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
• Use the proper grade of the proper fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater, and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. Refuel only in a well-ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
• Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied or under circumstances when manufacturer’s instructions say they should be turned off. Portable space heaters are so easy to knock over in the dark that they should be turned off when you go to bed, but make sure your primary heating equipment for bedrooms is sufficient to avoid risks to residents from severe cold.
• Do not use your oven to heat your home.
• Make sure fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside, that the venting is kept clear and unobstructed, and that the exit point is properly sealed around the vent, all of which is to make sure deadly carbon monoxide does not build up in the home.Inspect all heating equipment annually, and clean as necessary. Test smoke alarms monthly; install a carbon monoxide alarm in a central location outside each sleeping area.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:32 PM   #2
jsmitfl
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Thank You Brad.
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Old 12-09-2006, 02:43 PM   #3
Mrs. CountryGuy
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Great post, great reminder, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:02 PM   #4
AZCampinfool
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Great post Brad....thanks for the reminder
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:12 PM   #5
Dustytuu
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Thank you for posting this.
very important information.
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Old 12-09-2006, 03:12 PM   #6
LonnieB
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Thank you Brad, for refreshing our memories, and heightening our awareness. Your profession is showing through. I agree, GREAT POST!!
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:13 PM   #7
Ozz
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Hear hear!
You are a good MOC pal.
Thanks from the Osberns as well.
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Old 12-09-2006, 04:20 PM   #8
Ozzie
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Thank you Brad. I do use space heaters too, and pay very close attention to their use. I was actually thinking of one of those oil radiator type units thinking they might be safer. They are kind of big though.

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Old 12-09-2006, 06:09 PM   #9
MAMalody
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I run a 14/3 or 12/3 extension cord from my w/d outlet (in the bedroom) to the living room for a 15A/5000W space heater. I don't see a problem with this as long as the other appropriate considerations are taken. Any feedback.
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Old 12-09-2006, 06:17 PM   #10
Montana Sky
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Great reminder! Thank you for refreshing my memory on space heater safety.
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Old 12-09-2006, 07:15 PM   #11
Parrothead
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Almost all of the little heaters we use in our RVs have a safety of turning off if the heater is knocked over. If you are buying a new one, check and make sure this feature is included. Some of the cheaper ones don't have this feature. Ours does, I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks Brad for this heads up.
Happy trails......................
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:33 AM   #12
ols1932
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We presently use a Wave 6 catalytic heater and a Big Cube electric heater when necessary. We always take precautions to make sure everything is proper. Once in a while I have to remind my wife to keep things away from the heaters.

Orv
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Old 12-10-2006, 03:47 AM   #13
wileecoyote985
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Parrothead

Almost all of the little heaters we use in our RVs have a safety of turning off if the heater is knocked over. If you are buying a new one, check and make sure this feature is included. Some of the cheaper ones don't have this feature. Ours does, I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks Brad for this heads up.
Happy trails......................
Thanks for the reminder Brad.

BTW. I purchased a ceramic heater from Walmart about a week ago assuming that they all have the safety shut off when overturned. Upon checking my unit after reading this thread, I find that I purchased one that doesn't.

Not real happy with that, but I guess I should have checked for the feature. As me gaffer used to say; "That'll learn ya". LOL

Gary
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Old 12-10-2006, 04:19 AM   #14
Wrenchtraveller
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Great post and I guess we should keep fresh batteries in the smoke detectors as well.
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:06 AM   #15
AZCampinfool
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MAMalody



I run a 14/3 or 12/3 extension cord from my w/d outlet (in the bedroom) to the living room for a 15A/5000W space heater. I don't see a problem with this as long as the other appropriate considerations are taken. Any feedback.
Mike, I don't see a problem with running the cord, but my question is why? I would just plug the heater into one of the outlets in the living area or kitchen. I have actually run two heaters in the fiver at once. I had one plugged into the bedroom circuit, and the other one was plugged into the kitchen circuit. Since the heaters were on separate circuits, I did not have any overloading issues and it worked out great.
Ah, Mike...after re-reading your post, I didn't realize the heater was 5000 watts! I see now why you are running off the w/d circuit. I know my heaters are 1500w models and they can heat us right out of the fiver. Might be time to consider a 1200-1500 watt model just for the convenience.
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:53 AM   #16
ksboy
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I have been meaning to comment on this subject. I had a scary experience with an electic heater. Our Monty is still sitting in our driveway, while we get rid of our stuff. I was laying on the floor, while installing an extra outlet above the vacuum. The electric heater was on sitting close by when all of a sudden it began to start smoking. I unplugged itn right away and took it ouside to cool off. I dont know what would have happened if I would have been in the house or off somewhe else. We were lucky this time and I thought that I needed to share this story to alert everyone that these appliances can be dangerous. I know that we will be more careful from now on. .

ksboy
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Old 12-10-2006, 08:42 AM   #17
rrheik
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Thanks Brad, that was a great thread. I fremember my military days in Japan where we always seemed to have one or two deaths every year because of space heaters, although they were primarily kerosene, but had fires because of electric. We have found the heater on the fireplace to be very effective. I do notice that he wooden shelf just above the vent tends to get real warm on the bottom side. Don't think I would want to run it all night.

bob
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Old 12-10-2006, 11:59 AM   #18
emurray
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Thanks for the reminder Brad. We use two 1500 watt ceramic heaters, plugged into separate circuits. This seems to keep us very comfortable. When we go to bed, we turn one of the heaters off (usually the one in the living area) and set the furnace thermostat to about 50-55 degrees so that the plumbing, etc. doesn't freeze. Everyone needs to be aware that, if you are on 30amp shore power, two 1500 watt heaters gets pretty close to the limit. So....be careful...
An RV fire can really screw up a good nights sleep.....
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Old 12-10-2006, 06:39 PM   #19
fulltimedreamer
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Thanks for the reminder. We use an electric ceramic heater to supplement the RV furnace, but I am looking at the oil filled radiators as they do not seem to get as hot. I think I'll do a little more research.
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Old 12-12-2006, 03:28 AM   #20
jsmitfl
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We use the oil filled radiator heater when we go to north Fla in the winter. Been real happy with it. I actually put an outside recept below the city water fill and ran the wire(12ga)inside. I put a recept on the angle plate covering the fresh water hoses. I then plug a heavy cord to the outside recept and go to the power supply box.
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