The number of home fires increases in the months of December through February and the Iowa Department of Public Safety is reminding Iowans to be safe. State Fire Marshal investigators report primary reasons for portable heater fires includes placing heaters too close to combustible objects, like furniture or blankets, as well as leaving the heaters unattended.
The department advises people to take caution with the following tips:
- Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heaters.
- Never use your oven to heat your home.
- Remember always turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel and be sure you have a working carbon monoxide alarm and smoke alarms installed in your home.
- Portable heaters provide localized heat to an area and should not be used as the only source of permanent home heat.
- If you smell gas, immediately leave your home and call 911.
- Be sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Always use metal containers for ashes and keep them far from your home.