Using space heaters in your home? Fire official shares what you should look out for.
A fire official has tips on how to stay warm safely after a space heater caused a deadly fire in an apartment building in the Bronx.
The National Fire Protection Association says about 500 people die a year in fires caused by home heating equipment. More than 80% of those fires involve space heaters
Rockland County Director of Fire and Emergency Services Chris Kear says to keep the space heater at least 3 feet from anything that can catch fire. plug them directly into an outlet.
"You have to be conscious of what you're doing. Don't leave the room. Don't leave your home or your apartment,” he says.
Kear also says to make sure the heater was tested by Underwriter Laboratories, a nonprofit dedicated to public safety.
"There's a lot of knockoffs and items on the market that aren't that swift,” he says.
An open apartment door is another reason firefighters say smoke and heat spread so quickly in the Bronx. Kear says it's essential you close any door you come across on the way out from a fire.
"That gives the occupants of the building a much more viable chance to get out,” he says.