Warming Up To Safety

Warming Up To Safety

     As cold temperatures visit the area many Texomans will be cranking up the heat to stay warm, but be careful because a 2013 survey from the National Fire Protection Association shows 33 percent of home heating fires are due to space heaters.

     When it comes to space heaters, Kaleb Laughlin a manager at Sutherland’s Home Improvement Store believes product knowledge is important and there is key information one should know before buying or using an electric or gas heater.
     “Understanding the types of space heaters and what they're used for, whether it be how much they need to cover the room size or how to properly install or work,” said Laughlin.

      He wants people to know there are different space heaters for different purposes.

      A plaque heater is for small narrow areas and heats people and objects.

      A blue flame heater is the most popular, and it is used to heat the air and act more like a central air unit.

      For convenience he recommends a cabinet heater.

      “You can move it around on the ground, it's really portable to move from room to room, and it puts off a real good flow of heat,” said Laughlin.

       Mike Davis, the Wichita Falls Fire Department Battalion Chief wants heater users to monitor them closely, because he said almost every time they're called out for a space heater fire it is because they were used improperly.

        Chief Davis said if you take a space heater and use it in a place where it is not meant to be used, there is no guarantee it will be secure.

        Davis also warns small spaces, under a desk and near running water is all unsafe, and you need to put it in a well ventilated area and away from flammable objects.

        For personal usage like in the office, Laughlin from Sutherland’s recommends using a smaller heater, called a milk room heater.

        Another danger is with gas heaters. They can cause an undetectable problem, carbon monoxide poisoning.

        “Any home that has gas should have carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is odorless, it is tasteless, and you don't even know you're getting it until it's too late,” said Battalion Chief Mike Davis.

         Chief Davis wants to remind people to put your carbon monoxide alarms near your gas appliances for a more accurate reading.

         Some signs you may have a gas leak are headaches or red skin, and if you suspect you may have a gas leak, exit your home and call the fire department.

Danielle Malagarie Newschannel Six.

dmalagarie@kauz.com