As cold weather arrives in parts of the U.S., so does the risk of fires resulting from faulty heating equipment or practices. That is why the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has published a list of suggestions that can help Americans heat their homes safely this winter.
The association cites recent figures from the National Fire Protection Association which suggest most injuries from fires involving heating equipment occur when the user is asleep or when a child under 10 is left unsupervised with the equipment.
Hence, they recommend never leaving an operating heater unattended and always unplugging it when not in use.
It is also important to keep flammable or combustible materials, such as gas cans, matches, furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear, and not to block heater’s air intake or outlet.
Safety experts also advise to check the heater’s cord periodically and never use equipment with a damaged cord. In addition, no other electrical device should be plugged into the same outlet as the heater as this could result in overheating and fire.
Finally, it is crucial to read manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using any electrical equipment.