By Agrippina Fadel
A blast of arctic air sent South Florida into a shiver mode and Tamarac Fire Rescue shares tips on how to stay safe while using space heaters.
“While the temporary reprieve of winter weather is nice, it can also be dangerous if a space heater in the home or office is not being used properly,” said Van Schoen, Tamarac Fire Rescue Public Information Officer.
He added that while using the space heaters, keeping them far from flammable objects and fabrics, including upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses, and bedding, is important.
A space heater should be plugged directly into a wall outlet and never into an extension cord. It is crucial to always turn it off before leaving the room or going to bed and keep it out of the reach of children and pets.
Before using the space heater, look for signs of malfunctions, especially on older models, and confirm that it has an automatic shutoff function. Don’t forget to check the smoke detectors and ensure they work and have fresh batteries. Tamarac Fire Rescue recommends changing the smoke detector batteries twice a year.
A working fire extinguisher in a location that the whole family knows about can save lives and possessions in case of fire. To use the extinguisher effectively, remember the PASS acronym – pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the top lever, and sweep side to side to extinguish.
Schoen added that it is not uncommon to smell burning dust when turning the space heater on for the first time or after a long period of disuse.
“As dust can settle on the heating components during the warm months of the year, it is inevitable that it will burn off when the unit heats up. You can open a window to get rid of the odor,” he said.
- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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