Space heaters account for 25 percent of home heating fires and 74 percent of deaths, according to the NFPA.
Energy experts are concerned that the increase in fuel prices will push consumers into buying space heaters, which have more potential for hazard. A spokesman for a major home improvement chain acknowledged that space heater sales picked up earlier this year.
Yet portable heaters remain a problem because they allow for the greatest number of errors by consumers using them, says the NFPA. The most frequent mistake? Placing the space heater too close to a combustible material.
Blaine Fox, a 25-year veteran of the heating and air conditioning industry and the general manager of ServiceMark, a full-service HVACR company operating in Delaware and Pennsylvania, suggests the following safety tips that contractors can pass along to their residential customers:
Publication date: 12/19/2005