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UL spotlights dangers of alternative heating methods


January 18, 2012
By Anthony Capkun

January 17, 2012 – When the temperature drops and families head indoors to escape the cold, the improper use of heating equipment can put homes at risk for fire. UL (Underwriters Laboratories) reminds us that home heating fire deaths (79%) and injuries (66%)—and 52% of associated direct property damage—involve stationary or portable space heaters.

“January and February are peak months for home heating fire deaths,” says John Drengenberg, UL’s consumer safety director. “By taking precautions and making sure you’re using indoor heating sources correctly, you can avoid tragedy while staying warm and fire safe.”

UL recommends these simple steps to help avoid potential home fires this winter season:

• Keep flammable materials at least 3 feet away from indoor heat sources, such as space heaters and fireplaces.
• Always shut off space heaters when leaving the room and before going to bed.
• Check your home’s smoke alarms and make sure models and batteries are up to date.
• Look for the UL Mark on home heaters to make sure they have been tested to appropriate safety requirements.