It’s a cold winter night. You decide to use a space heater, or perhaps light a fire in the fireplace, to save on the heating bill. Comfortable from its warmth as bedtime approaches you think, “What harm could it cause to leave it on overnight?”
Think again. While these heating devices may help you feel cozy and warm, they can become extremely dangerous if not used properly. Home heating equipment was involved in an estimated 62,000 home fires in 2005, according to the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The cost of these fires is more than just property damage. The cost includes roughly 700 lives and roughly 1,500 injuries.
Home heating fires are largely preventable when you know the rules. The Columbia Fire Department's goal is to reduce the number of home-heating fires in our community. But we need your help. We are urging families to use extra caution this winter when heating your home.
The majority of heating fire deaths are caused by space heaters! Most heating fires are caused by creosote build-up in the chimney.
To help keep our community safe and warm this season, the Columbia Fire Department recommends that you follow these guidelines:
With simple precautions, help us meet our goal of decreasing home-heating fires this winter.