The Dangers of Space Heaters from Ft. Lauderdale’s Fire Remediation Specialist

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As a Ft. Lauderdale Fire Remediation Specialist you wouldn’t think space heater would be a problem I that would come up much. But the cold weather even in Florida has many people looking to ways to keep warm and space heaters are flying off the shelves at hardware stores throughout the Ft. Lauderdale Area. Space heaters caused an average of 3,800 fires a year between 2009 and 2011, resulting in 115 deaths and 250 injuries and 2,800 home structure fires resulting in $69.5 million in property damage according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

If you must use a space heater. The following steps and safety precautions must be observed:

  • You must have approval from your Building Manager prior to purchasing or using a space heater.
  • The space heater selected must be tested by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriter's Laboratories (UL).
  • The preferred style of space heaters are fully enclosed by design and have no external surfaces that reach temperatures capable of igniting, such as an oil filled radiant heater.
  • Keep the space heater accessible - do not storage anything within three feet of the unit. The leading cause of space heater fires was combustibles too close to the heater.
  • The unit must have thermostatic controls and automatic shutoff features.
  • The space heater must be plugged directly into an outlet. Do not use a light-duty extension cord or a multi outlet strip/surge protector; it can start a fire with a high-wattage appliance. The unit must be grounded with a three-pronged plug.
  • Run the power cord so that no one steps on or trips over it.

ALL-FLORIDA Remodeling wants you and your family to stay warm and safe as we experience unseasonably cold weather.

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