One of the most common causes of house fires is probably something you
are aware of as a danger, but I’m guessing you have no idea exactly
how dangerous the item is. According to the
National Fire Protection Association, 32% of all home fires and 79% of all home heating fire deaths are caused
by space heaters. With the long-term cold settling in over Indianapolis
and most of Indiana, many residents use space heaters to warm a single
room while keeping the overall home temperature down lower. This can be
especially useful at night, as you can turn the thermostat down significantly
and use a space heater to keep your bedroom warm while you sleep. As much
sense as that makes, you may be putting yourself at risk by leaving the
space heater on while you are not awake.
The potential dangers of space heaters are many: they often get knocked
over, left too close to flammable items, or are left unattended for long
periods of time. All of these significantly increase the risk of a major
home fire causing injury or death. Space heaters really can be a great
addition to your home during winter months and can help with supplemental
heating in your home, but safety precautions MUST be taken when using
them. Follow these simple safety tips if you want to greatly reduce your
risk of a home fire caused by a space heater:
- Never leave space heaters unattended or set on high levels while you are
sleeping. If you are leaving your home, turn the heaters off. Keep nighttime
use at a minimum.
- Keep space heaters away from flammable items. Leaving them close to bedding,
using them on a carpeted surface, or even leaving them turned on too close
to the Christmas tree can quickly lead to a fire. Follow the heater’s
instructions on safe distances and location/placement of the heater to
help prevent overheating and fires.
- Do not let children operate space heaters. Though they may visibly look
safe to touch on the exterior, especially to a child’s eye, space
heaters are often extremely hot to the touch. Children can easily sustain
serious burn injuries simply by touching a space heater.
- Pay attention to safety ratings and label warnings. Never use a space heater
that has been malfunctioning or appears to have worn wiring or parts.
- Install appropriate smoke and CO2 detectors in your home to protect you
in case of fumes or a fire.
- Make sure your home stays well ventilated. Keep your chimney cleaned out
well and ductwork professionally maintained.
If you and your family fall victim to a fire caused by a home heating product,
the makers of the product may bear some responsibility if there is any
kind of manufacturing or design defect OR if they failed to provide reasonable
warnings about the dangers of the product’s use. The personal injury and
product liability attorneys at Indianapolis-based Wagner Reese may be able to help you recover
damages. Call us today for an absolutely free consultation: (888) 204-8440.