Local News

Supplemental Heaters Can Be Dangerous

Cold WeatherDuring this cold time of the year it's especially important to remember safety measures when placing and using supplemental heating devices, such as electric space or fuel-powered ventless heaters, in your home.

City of Russell Fire Chief Sam Schmidt says if you are going to use one of these heaters, the placement of it in your home is important.

"The heaters sometimes are placed too close to furniture or other objects in the room, and that will just continually heat and heat and heat, and then the next thing you know you have your furniture on fire or drapes or any furnishings in the home," said Schmidt.

Using heaters like this for temporary heating or drying of clothing is another thing that can lead to a fire, says Schmidt.

"Sometimes we'll put articles of clothing near it (a heater) to warm them up and then forget about it," Schmidt said. "We've gone to some pretty devastating house fires in the past with that type of accidental use of a heating device."

Schmidt also says correct use of fuel-powered ventless heaters is critical. He has seen many cases where people use ventless heaters in small spaces in their homes, when in fact heaters of this type, unlike small electric space heaters, are to be used in larger areas such as garages or shops where harmful carbon monoxide gas can have room to escape. Extended use of several hours of ventless heaters, in any environment, can cause serious harm as well.

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