Public Service Announcement - Your space heater can kill you

by | Dec 17, 2010 10:00 AM ET

This article...

Electric heater: Five safety tips for when you turn it on

...mentions an amazing statistic:

Between 1999 and 2002, [space heaters] were responsible for an average 9,900 residential fires and 190 fatalities a year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That was nearly five times the annual fatalities linked to fireplaces or chimney fires and nearly 10 times those linked to central-heating fires.

Two easy ways for a space heater to kill or cause significant damage include:

  • You place the space heater too close to a piece of furniture or fabric and it lights on fire.
  • A fueled space heater (like a kerosene heater) causes carbon monoxide poisoning.

I have a little space heater in my office right now as I write this. I am a bit surprised to learn that it and its kin kill 190 people a year. That's more than lightning (60 per year), snake bites (12 per year) and shark attacks (minimal) combined.

More info:

- Home Depot: Space Heater Safety

- How Toasters Work

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