Zanesville Fire Department Gives Space Heater Safety Tips

Local News Stories

ZANESVILLE, Oh – Winter is just around the corner, and we’ve already gotten a taste of the sub-freezing temperatures and snowy weather that comes along with it.

And as the bitter cold settles in, many try to stay warm in any way they can, including the use of space heaters.

With many breaking out heaters for the season, the Zanesville Fire Department wants to make sure you stay safe while keeping warm.

One of the first things they suggest is never using a stove or oven to heat your house, and recommend doing a simple inspection before utilizing your heat sources and ensuring everything is in proper working

“We just want to keep in mind obviously as it is getting colder, people like to stay warm, so we just want everyone to be safe,” ZFD Probationary Firefighter Simon Wagner said.

Just walk around and check everything, you know. Do a walk through of your home, make sure everything’s in place, maybe if you have the means, have your heaters inspected, make sure your vents are clean, obviously make sure you have functioning smoke detectors, just do a walk through.”

ZFD says any space heaters should be placed on a hard, level surface,, keeping exits and heavily-trafficked areas of the home in mind, with a buffer of at least three feet should be kept from any combustible items, including furniture and walls.

They also recommend keeping a buffer zone between any pets and/or children in the home and remind to to unplug heaters before you leave, go to bed, or aren’t using them and keep in mind certain features when making purchase.

“Make sure that they have a tip-over device or overheating safety device. And you should always plug them directly into the wall, never use an extension cord or a power strip. And then never plug anything else in with it, because that could overheat the outlet and cause a fire. You always want to make sure that you check the cord to make sure there’s no frays or and damage to the cord,” he added.

And if you’re using a kerosene-fueled heater, you should refill them with kerosene only and make sure to only use them in well-ventilated areas to be aware of the symptoms of carbon monxide poisoning like, headaches, dizziness, and nausea,

Most importantly ZFD says to you should ensure you have multiple working smoke detectors on every level of your home and have a fire safety plan.

Maggie Warren
Maggie was born and raised in Speedway, Indiana where she developed her love and passion for weather, IndyCar and F1, hockey, and baseball, especially the Detroit Red Wings and the Cincinnati Reds. When she's not at work, she enjoys binge-watching her favorite tv shows, writing, hiking, and doing pretty much any outdoor activity! Maggie graduated from Ball State University, where she majored in meteorology/climatology, in Fall 2020. While at Ball State, she was a member of the Storm Chase Team and Cardinal Weather Service. She is also a member of the American Meteorological Society. She loves exploring new places, so if you have any recommendations of places she should visit, let her know! And if you see her around town, don't be shy, say hi!