Bloomington Fire Department reminds safety when using space heaters

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Cold temperatures are adding to a rise in electrical use as people look to stay warm from the cold.

Many people use spacer heaters or electric blankets to provide an extra bit of warmth to their homes on a chilly night.

However, the Bloomington Fire Department reminds residents of the dangers in using space heaters. Never plug a heater into an electrical cord or power strip. Space heaters are designed to only be plugged directly into a wall outlet.

Public Information Officer at Bloomington Fire Department, Eric Davison said it’s something firefighters see locally and across the country.

“There was a fatal fire in Chicago, and that was a kid upstairs with a space heater by himself. Not really sure what happened, but they did determine that was the cause of the fire. Whether unattended with kids or leaving the house, make sure you turn those things off because you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Davison said.

Davison said space heaters and electric blankets should only be on when you’re present.

“Any heating element is going to be the same process; watching where you plug them into, not leaving them on all night, those types of things. Newer space heaters are getting a lot more safe, they have fall over protection or auto turn off, but you can’t guarantee it,” Davison said.

He also said heaters should be at least three feet away from any flammable objects.

Residents are reminded stoves and ovens are only to be used for cooking, not as a way to warm a residence.

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