Illinois state fire marshal office says to use caution with spac - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois state fire marshal office says to use caution with space heaters

Space heaters can cause fires (Source: WPBN / MGN) Space heaters can cause fires (Source: WPBN / MGN)

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is warning statewide residents not to rely on kitchen ovens for heat, and to use common sense when using space heaters.

“Fire safety ought to be part of our daily lives. Using space heaters too close to flammable materials, or the oven or stove as ways to heat the home could pose a serious fire hazard,” said State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. “We urge residents to use common sense to prevent a tragedy.”

According to the state fire marshal's office, there were 467 fires incidents involving heating equipment reported in the state.

Some of the equipment involved in these incidents included fireplaces, stoves, space heaters, and heat lamps. Stationary and portable space heaters are typically determined to be the cause of one-third of reported home heating fires in the U.S. each year according to NFPA research.

OSFM offers the following advice to stay warm and fire-safe:

* All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding, and furniture at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.

* Do not allow children and pets within three feet of open fires and space heaters.

* Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet, not into extension cords.

* Use portable heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.

* Turn space heaters off when you leave a room or go to sleep.

* Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instruction.

* Maintain heating equipment, gas fireplaces, and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

* Wood-burning fireplaces should always be kept clean to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning or smoke inhalation.

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