Eastpoint fires leave nine homeless

Published: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 09:57 AM.

Carr said the fire marshal’s office was not asked to investigate the Jefferson Street fire.

According to the website for Nationwide Insurance, in 2010, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 57,100 reported U.S. home structure fires, resulting in 490 deaths, 1,540 injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.

Fuel-burning space heaters also can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and indoor air pollution, because of improper venting or incomplete combustion.

Underwriters Laboratory, a safety consulting and certification company advises space heater users to keep all space heaters at least three feet from household combustibles, and to use them only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the home's heating system and never to use an extension cord with a space heater unless absolutely necessary.

The heater’s power cord should be frequently inspected for fraying and damage. Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. This could be the sign of a potential home wiring issue.

Heaters should be placed on a flat, level surface. Do not place heaters on furniture since they may fall and become damaged. Unless the heater is designed for use outdoors or in bathrooms, do not use in damp, wet areas.

Look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratory) mark on the heater, which means sample heaters have met UL's stringent safety standards.

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