The following article is based on a press release from Amica Insurance.
Despite the weather, most home fires occur between January and March, as people rely on more heat sources to overcome the cold.
Space heaters are a popular, and potentialy dangerous, solution for getting through the winter.
A release from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IIBHS) says that home fires have resulted in 149 deaths in January, 24 more than at this same time in 2012, according to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA). Additionally, home fires lead to an average of 18,300 injuries per year and cause billions of dollars in damage.
Amica Insurance has shared these tips from the IIBHS website to promote proper space heater use:
- Keep a distance of 36 inches between the heater and combustible materials like bedding, furniture, wall coverings and other flammable items.
- Do not leave a heater unattended.
- Electric heaters should be inspected prior to use. Check the cord for fraying and cracking, and look for broken wires or signs of overheating in the device itself.
- Use only heavy-duty extension cords marked with a No. 14 gauge or larger wire.
- If the heater plug has a grounding prong, use only a grounding (three-wire) extension cord.
- Never run the heater cord, or any cord, under rugs or carpeting.
- With liquid fuel-powered devices, use only kerosene or oil heat. Never use gasoline or any other substitute fuel.
- Allow the heater to cool down before refueling.
About Amica Insurance
Amica Mutual Insurance Co., the nation’s oldest mutual insurer of automobiles, was founded in 1907. The company, based in Lincoln, RI, is a national writer of automobile, homeowners, marine and personal umbrella liability insurance. Life coverage is available through Amica Life Insurance Company, a wholly owned subsidiary. Amica employs more than 3,100 people in 40 offices across the country.