When it comes to being safe during the cold winters of New York City (NYC), consider these facts from the National Fire Protection Association with regard to space heaters:

  • In a study from 2009-2013, an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home structure fires involved heating equipment, with associated losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage.
  • Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and four out of five (84%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (56%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February. These fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires.

Being warm and safe, during a NYC winter, doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy much-needed heat while remaining safe:

  1. Space heaters should be Underwriters Listed (UL) or Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL)approved.
  2. Only use space heaters that are ground fault protected.
  3. Space heater should have a tip-over switch.
  4. Space heater should be 36 inches away from any type of material or objects.
  5. Only purchase a space heater with a timer to avoid space heater running while unattended.
  6. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord.
  7. Always purchase the proper sized space heater for a room to avoid overheating. 
  8. Never use a space heater with missing parts.
  9. Make sure space heater is always on a flat surface.
  10. Keep space heaters away from exits and other paths of travel.
  11. Space heaters should not be used in wet areas.
  12. Never place clothing on top of space heater.
  13. Keep children away from space heaters.
  14.   Keep pets away from space heaters.
  15.       Make sure to have a properly working carbon monoxide and smoking detector in the same room with the space heater.
  16.       To prevent freeze ups, doors and windows should be closed during space heater use.

By following the tips above, space heaters can be a safe and efficient way to provide heat and comfort to some of the uncomfortable situations that happen during the winters of NYC.

Visit us for more information on space heaters or any of your other HVAC needs!

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