ShareThis Page

Red Cross provides tips for using space heaters safely

Madasyn Czebiniak
| Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, 11:54 a.m.

The American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region is urging people to proceed with caution when using space heaters to keep warm during the colder months.

“According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires are the second leading cause of home fires (cooking is the first) and are responsible for 19 percent of home fire deaths,” Red Cross spokesman Dan Tobin said. “Space heaters are the type of equipment most often involved in home heating fires and are responsible for more home fire deaths than fires caused by central heating sources.”

Here are some safety tips for using space heaters, fireplaces, or wood and coal stoves, as per the Red Cross:

•Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.

•Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.

•Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.

•Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.

•Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.

•If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as a ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.

Additional information can be found at redcross.org/wpahomefire. People can also download the free American Red Cross Emergency App from a device's app store.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4702, mczebiniak@tribweb.com, or on Twitter @maddyczebstrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.