Fire safety while using auxiliary heaters in your home

Mercer County

Sub freezing temperatures call for extra heat in order to keep you warm in the winter. However, one in seven house fires is related to heating equipment, according to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Proper precautions should be taken when using gas powered or electric auxiliary heaters.
Captain Keith Ganoe with the Princeton Fire Department had some tips for safely using more old fashioned heating methods in your home.

“Just common safety practices; if you’re burning wood or have a coal furnace, the chimney or the flue should be checked periodically and cleaned” Ganoe said.

Placement of certain heaters is extremely important as well, but it all depends on the type of heater you are using. Combustibles should not be stacked near gas heaters in case of an unexpected leak. 
Ganoe said electric heaters should be plugged into their own outlet, not a power strip, due to the amount of amperage they pull.

“When you start putting heating sources like electric heaters into those power strips, that’s a deadly combination. We don’t ever recommend that at all” Ganoe said.”

Finally, Captain Gannoe said there is still one tool that remains the most important factor when considering fire safety.

“Your heaters can be perfectly maintained and still malfunction, so fires still happen” Ganoe said. “Smoke detectors are important because that’s the early signal to notify you there’s an issue so you can get out.”

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