Space heaters may have been the cause behind a North Carolina house fire that took the life of a woman and injured her fiancee in Kittrell. Officials suspect the Franklin County house fire was started by a space heater as several were found in the home. Her fiancee was only able to escape the burning home by jumping out of a second-story window.
Researchers have discovered that space heaters can reach up to 400 degrees within one minute of being turned on. These temperatures are dangerous to people around them and damaging to property nearby. There are choices individuals can make and practices to employ that help reduce the risk of fire damage and burn injuries caused by space heaters. Our Raleigh injury lawyers created a list of safety tips for space heater use:
- Auto shut-off feature. Many space heaters offer the option of an automatic shut-off. The feature is activated when the space heater is knocked over. Heaters may still cause a fire if their hot surface comes into contact with certain materials, even with the auto shut-off option, but the chances are reduced greatly when the power source is terminated on contact.
- Clear the area. Keep space heaters away from furniture, drapes, or any loose materials that could easily ignite. Safety experts advise a three feet open area on all sides of the heater - but try and be more generous and clear a larger area.
- Choose a low-traffic space. Finding a place for your space heater may seem logical--wherever people need to stay warm. However, some fires have started as a result of a person knocking over a space heater because it was in a high-traffic area, like the opening to a hallway or in between furniture in a bedroom.
- Never leave a space heater on while you are sleeping. If you're afraid you will fall asleep before remembering to turn off the heater, plug the heater into a timer that is set to turn it off within 30 minutes.
- Do not leave a space heater on unattended. Even if you are just going into another room for a few minutes, shut off the space heater. The risk of a fire from leaving it on is too great.
Raleigh Insurance Dispute Attorneys
The fires that space heaters cause are often slow to flame--meaning they smolder first, burning materials and emitting dangerous fumes that may kill anyone home before they even notice something is burning. Share these tips with your family and friends to help prevent injuries and losses associated with North Carolina house fires caused by space heaters. Contact our Raleigh injury lawyers if you believe your space heater was defective, your homeowners insurance company is not compensating you as outlined in your policy, or if you suffered another loss as a result of your space heater use.