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Using Alternative Heaters? Springfield Fire Department Has Some Important Safety Tips

Space heaters like this one sometimes lead to housefires; the Springfield Fire Department says a few simple steps can reduce the risk of fire. (Photo credit: StevenGroves via flickr)

Springfield firefighters are reminding folks that if you’re going to use a kerosene heater or other form of alternative heating, you need to keep a few safety tips in mind. KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson reports.

Last Thursday in Springfield, firefighters responded to a housefire caused by a kerosene heater. According to a release from the city, the resident in that home tried to move the burning heater outside, but the heater tipped and spilled fuel, which only fed the fire.

So, the fire department is offering a few reminders for using alternative heating—-including space heaters, wood stoves, pellet stoves.

 For fuel-burning heaters:

  • Always use the correct type of fuel
  • Refuel outside when the heater is cool
  • Do not allow gas to accumulate when lighting the pilot light

For electric space heaters:

  • You should turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room
  •  Only use space heaters that automatically shut off if they’re tipped over
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that could burn

 And for wood and pellet-burning stoves:

  • Burn only dry, seasoned wood or pellets
  • Keep the stove doors closed except when loading or stoking the fire.

And as always, the fire department says to make sure smoke alarms have fresh batteries, and that you have a carbon monoxide detector.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.