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SFD: When using space heaters, here's how to avoid house fires

Space heater
Michele Skalicky
Space heater

The Springfield Fire Department has responded to 106 residential house fires since 2016 that were caused by space heaters.

As temperatures get cooler, people bring out their space heaters. But the Springfield Fire Department says you need to use caution when using them.

Since 2016, the fire department has responded to 106 residential house fires that were caused by a heating appliance.

Tips from the Springfield Fire Department:

  • You should purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory
  • Keep the heater at least three feet away from people or anything that can burn
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface
  • Make sure the heater has an auto shut-off in case it tips over
  • Never block an exit with space heaters, and keep them away from foot traffic areas
  • Keep kids away from space heaters
  • Don’t use extension cords with space heaters
  • Turn all space heaters off when you leave a room or go to bed

And the Springfield Fire Department says every home should have working smoke alarms, and they should be replaced every 10 years.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.