CPSC Warns Of Hazards from Heaters and Fireplaces
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NW IL.
    Posts
    3,935
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    December 10, 2004
    Release # 05-067
    CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772
    CPSC Media Contacts: Ken Giles, (301) 504-7052

    CPSC Warns Of Hazards from Heaters and Fireplaces

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
    reminds consumers to follow safety precautions when purchasing and using
    electric or fuel-fired heaters and fireplaces. "Most of the deaths and
    injuries from heaters and fireplaces happen in the winter months," said
    CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Every home needs working smoke alarms and a
    carbon monoxide alarm."
    In a recent year, there were about 10,900 residential fires and about
    190 deaths associated with portable or fixed space heaters. There were
    15,500 fires and 40 deaths associated with fireplaces and chimneys. In
    addition, an average of about 85 people die each year from carbon
    monoxide poisoning caused by heating systems, ranges/ovens and water
    heaters.

    Heaters can cause fires if they are placed too close to flammable
    materials such as drapes, furniture or bedding. Fireplaces can cause
    fires if the chimney is cracked, blocked or coated with creosote, or if
    sparks and embers can reach flammable materials. Fuel-burning appliances
    can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if they are improperly installed,
    poorly maintained, have compromised venting systems, or are misused.

    Heater safety tips:

    *Use a heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and
    certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters
    will have the most up-to-date safety features; older space heaters may
    not meet the newer safety standards. CPSC worked to upgrade industry
    standards for electric, kerosene and vented and unvented gas space
    heaters. Kerosene heaters are required to have an automatic cut-off
    mechanism that will extinguish the flame if the unit tips over. Most
    electric heaters also have a similar mechanism to turn the unit off.
    More guarding around the heating coils of electric heaters and the
    burner of kerosene heaters also is required to prevent fires. Unvented
    gas space heaters require oxygen depletion sensors to help prevent
    carbon monoxide production from inefficient combustion.

    *Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs
    or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three
    feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials.

    *Keep doors open to the rest of the house if you are using an unvented
    fuel-burning space heater. Make sure your heater meets current safety
    standards to shut off if oxygen levels fall too low. Make sure your
    heater is correctly rated for your home. An oversized heater could
    deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be
    produced. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch to ensure
    proper ventilation. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes
    proper combustion. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to provide
    sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.

    *NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep. Never place a space
    heater close to any sleeping person.

    *Turn the space heater off if you leave the area. Keep children and pets
    away from space heaters.

    *Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper
    operation.

    *Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could
    overheat or generate excessive carbon monoxide.

    *Be aware that mobile homes require specially-designed heating
    equipment. Only electric or vented fuel-fired equipment should be used.

    *Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house,
    inside every bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. In
    addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each
    separate sleeping area.

    Fireplace safety tips:

    *Have flues and chimneys inspected before each heating season for
    leakage and blockage by creosote or debris.

    *Open the fireplace damper before lighting the fire and keep it open
    until the ashes are cool. Never close the damper before going to bed if
    the ashes are still warm. An open damper will prevent build-up of
    poisonous gases inside the home, especially while the family is
    sleeping.

    *Never use gasoline, charcoal lighter or other fuel to light or relight
    a fire because the vapors can explode. Never keep flammable fuels or
    materials near a fire. Never store flammable liquids in your home.

    *Never use charcoal in a fireplace because of the risk of carbon
    monoxide poisoning.

    *Keep a screen or glass enclosure around a fireplace to prevent sparks
    or embers from igniting flammable materials.

    Consumers who would like more information can view a free CPSC booklet,
    "What You Should Know about Space Heaters", or receive it by sending a
    postcard to "Space Heater Booklet," CPSC, Washington, DC 20207.

    View this press release online at
    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml05/05067.html




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,233
    Electric space heaters definately should not be left unattended. I don't believe they're nade for 24/7 use, anyway.
    Installed several systems in an old house being remodeled. They left a heater running in a bathroom, I checked it out, they had an extension cord rated greater than the heater wattage. Next day I saw it was still running. The cord was very warm so I unplugged it,

    The plug was so hot the prongs pulled out the plug and my fingerprints were left in the plastic! Needless to say, it didn't get plugged back in, and a warning to the homeowner.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

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