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Misuse of space heaters a common cause of house fires

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Staying warm is on the minds of everyone during the winter, and people may be considering to buy a space heater, but before they do, there are some vital safety tips that space heater owners need to know.

La Crosse Fire Department officials said the most significant misuse of space heaters is when people try to heat entire rooms. Local first responders said a space heater should only be used to heat an immediate small space, which means it must be turned off when someone leaves the room and never to be kept on when sleeping because it could tip over and cause a fire.

Another thing people should be aware of is keeping the space heater away from anything that can catch on fire. It’s recommended people keep three feet of space clear around the heater.

The fire department wants to get the message out that furniture does not need an open flame to burn, but a consistent heat source, that’s too close, can spark a fire.

“They are a safe product when you purchase them, it’s how you use them that can be a danger to you and your family,” said Lance Tryggestad, Captain of La Crosse Fire Dept.

Data National Fire Protection Association shows space heaters are responsible for 50 percent of all home heating fires.

Heather Armstrong

Heather anchors Live at 5 and co-anchors the weekday 6 & 10 PM newscasts

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