The holiday season, brings with it extra power usage, extension cords, and with colder weather also coming, residents will turn up the heat. Some will be dusting off their space heaters. Missouri State Fire Marshal, Tim Bean, explains the risk that some overlook, underlying all these factors.
Bean says roughly two-thirds of fires his office responds to, are started through an electrical problem. Those electrical issues range in cause from extension cords to faulty wiring. As for space heaters, Bean says, they are not intended for use as a primary heating source, but caution should be exercised if they are used. Never plug into an adapter, or multi-plug. Users should also provide a three-foot clearance on all sides around the heater.
Extension cords are regularly used during the holidays. Danger levels rise if space heaters or other heavy appliances are plugged into extension cords. But other types of injuries are also possible, including presentation of tripping hazards. That will be an important reminder to those who are expecting visitors on Halloween, says Bean. He also says furnaces, being out of sight and out of mind are also a good thing to check on, including ignition sources, and chimneys.
the change back to standard time, this weekend, could also be used to change smoke alarm batteries.