Home heaters are the second leading cause of residential fires in the US. Read out tips to stay safe while warming up your home.
- From 2013-2015, an average of 45,900 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. These fires caused an annual average of approximately 205 deaths, 725 injuries and $506 million in property loss.
- Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This four-hour period accounted for 29 percent of all home heating fires.
- Twenty-nine percent of the nonconfined home heating fires happened because the heat source (like a space heater or fire place) was too close to things that can burn.
Space Heater Fire Prevention Tips
- Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from space heaters
- Always turn off space heaters at night, as they can easily be knocked over in the dark
- Always turn off and unplug your space heaters before you exiting the room
- Always have at least a three-foot “kids-free zone” around space heaters
- Always plug them in directly to an outlet, not to an extension cord or power strip
Furnace Fire Prevention Tips
- It’s important to change your furnace filter regularly.
- Never store combustibles or flammable items in the same room as heating appliances. This includes rags, mops, paper and other items that can quickly catch fire.
- You should have a qualified professional check your heating appliances at least once a year.
- Be sure to install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors in your home, which will help alert you of a gas leak.
San Diego Gas & Electric offers customers free safety checks to make sure home gas appliances are operating safely and efficiently. Customers can schedule an appointment by calling SDG&E at 800-411-7343 or by visiting the “Check My Appliances” link on SDG&E’s website.