Scott Co. FD tests safety of space heaters - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Scott Co. FD tests safety of space heaters

SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

As you crank up those space heaters to stay warm, it's best to use extreme precautions to not start a fire.

Scott County Rural Fire Chief Jeremy Perrien said if you choose to use space heaters to keep your family warm, you must use precautions.

“It doesn’t take no longer than a few minutes to ignite a couch or something," Perrien said. “With secondary heating sources, especially with the temperatures getting down this cold, don’t go to sleep with one on.”

To show just how dangerous that could be, firefighters decided to test it out.

With just the couch and space heater alone, temperatures reached upwards of 600 degrees.

When firefighters added a blanket to the experiment, the fire instantly started.

Perrien said newer couches would burn much faster than the old one that was used.

“Today’s time versus back in the '70s or the '80s is made a little cheaper," he said. "The material would definitely ignite much faster than what older material will.”

Chief Perrien said as you shop this winter season for space heaters, make sure you look for things like "eco-smart" and "energy smart" to know that you’re buying one that’s safe for your home.  

“With the new energy efficient heaters, they’re temperature controlled," Perrien said. "So once they get to 70 degrees in the room, they’re not going to continue to heat up they’ll shut down”

No matter which one you buy, you’re encouraged to use all safety precautions.

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