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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Khin Chin , Associate Management Analyst , (510) 981-5506

Leading Cause of Home Fires

Berkeley, California (Wednesday, November 18, 2009) -

Heater Safety Tips


Berkeley, California (November 16, 2009)  Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fires during December through February.  Protect yourself, your family and your home by following these heater safety tips:

  • Floor Furnaces can be extremely dangerous.  Be sure that all combustibles are kept away from the heating grate.  Children should be taught to stay away from radiators and heaters, and not to play with or drop anything into them.  Remember:  Nothing should be placed or stored on top of a heater, including furniture.  Never use heaters to dry clothing or other combustibles.
  • Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything combustible, including wallpaper, bedding, clothing, pets and people.  Never leave space heaters operating when you leave a room or when you go to bed.  Be sure everyone knows that drying wet clothes over space heaters is a fire danger.
  • Never use kerosene heaters or charcoal grills indoors.
  • Never use your gas stove or oven for home heating.  In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
  • Make sure your space heaters have "tip switches", which automatically turn off if the heaters tip over.
  • Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, have adequate ventilation, and are at least 3 feet away from combustibles.
  • Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting carpets, furniture or other combustible items.
  • Be sure that fireplace ashes are completely cold before removing them from your fireplace.  Store them in a metal container away from combustible materials for at least three days before putting them in the garbage.

For more information, call the Fire Prevention Division at 510-981-5585.


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