The U.S. Fire Administration’s website contains really important information concerning fire safety along with lots of great advice on keeping yourself and your loved ones safe throughout the year.

With the cold weather upon us, you should know that heating is the second leading cause of home fires in this country.  Cooking is the primary cause of home fires.

Because, I tend to use space heaters ( also known as portable heaters) in my home during the winter, I’ve decided to focus on using them safely.

Tips on the safe use of space heaters:

  • Use only space heaters that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface.
  • Check your space heater for cracked or damaged cords and plugs.
  • Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets.  Never use an extension cord or power strip.  Plugging a space heater into a power strip is something I did many times before researching this post.
  • Plug only 1 space heater into an electrical outlet at a time. 
  • Plug only 1 heat producing appliance (such as a coffee maker, space heater, or microwave) directly into a wall outlet at a time.
  • Have an electrician install additional wall outlets where you need them.
  • Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from a space heater.
  • Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off feature.  If it does, your space heater will shut off if it tips over. 
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.  Again, this is something I innocently and mistakenly did in the past.

The peak months for electrical fire deaths are November though March.

Home electrical fire deaths occur most often between Midnight and 8 am.

Working smoke alarms are a vital part of any fire safety discussion.

Smoke alarm statistics you should know:

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
  • More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Working Fire alarms can save lives!

Clearly, it’s important that you check the smoke alarms in your home regularly to make sure they are working correctly and comply with local laws.

The U.S. Fire Administration has this to say about smoke alarms:

  • Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom in addition to hallways outside of bedrooms.
  • Interconnected smoke alarms are better than free standing alarms because they all go off when one goes off.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button.
  • Test to make sure your smoke alarms are loud enough to wake you up.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
  • Working smoke alarms significantly increase your chances of surviving a house fire.
  • Check in with Older Adults and People With Disabilities that you know to make sure their smoke alarms are working.

About the HomeBinge Blog 

As a real estate agent with Integrity Real Estate, I regularly encounter situations and questions that are relevant to homeowners and anyone buying or selling a home in Harford County, Havre de Grace, or Cecil County. My goal is to share my experiences through posts that you will find informative and helpful.

If you have a question about local real estate or a specific topic that you would like addressed in a blog post, click here to let me know more. Or, you can always call, or text, me at 410-218-6533.  I will respond!

Ed Rybczynski 

Equal Housing Opportunity


Related posts:

Practice Fire Safety This Holiday Season

Have You Checked Your Smoke Alarms Recently?