The dangers of space heaters


With the freezing temperatures we’ve seen this weekend, we spoke with Raleigh County residents to see how they’re coping with the harsh weather. 59 News has more on how to safely stay warm during these freezing temperatures. 

For people who love snow and winter weather sports like skiing and snowboarding, December, January and February might be their favorite months of the year. However those are also some of the most dangerous months of the year when it comes to heating your home.

Half of all house fires caused by heating equipment are reported during those months, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Although Bernard Bostick doesn’t use a space heater, he has some safety tips for anyone who does. 

“Make sure that they’re properly ventilated I would make sure that they had the right voltage, that they didn’t use too many extension chords, that they kept papers and blankets away from the devices as much as they possibly can,” said Bostick. 

The U.S. Fire Administration says heating related fires only make up about 12% of all fires in the country. But, space heaters are to blame for four out of five fire deaths in the U.S., according to the National Fire Prevention Association. 

John Parks, a firefighter with the Rupert Volunteer Fire Department knows how quickly space heaters can go from heating your home, to burning it down.  “When using space heaters, be very cautious of how you’re using them. Be very careful if you’re using them around pets,” said Parks. 

The moral of this story, when you’re heating your home, especially with a space heater keeping an eye out can ultimately save your home, your pet, and even your life. He says it’s especially important to never leave them unattended, or left on overnight.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, from 2006 to 2010, West Virginia had the 10th highest fire death rate in the country. 

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