Fire chief explains safety when it comes to heaters

Fire chief explains safety when it comes to heaters
Fire chief explains safety when it comes to heaters

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) – As the temperatures cool, we’re turning up the thermostats and plugging in the heaters.

However, keeping warm can come at a cost if you’re not careful.

“These are usually purchased at local department stores,” Houston River Fire Department Chief Dean Lappe said. “You can see these here are not out of the box. They are full of dust, they are dirty.

Lappe said heaters should be cleaned before they are used. When you plug in your heater, make sure it is plugged directly into a wall outlet.

“They need to be plugged into a wall outlet,” Lappe said. “One per take, that’s all. What happens is they draw such high amperage that you can have a problem like this.

Power strips are not designed to take as much voltage as necessary for the heatsinks. Lappe said to keep about 36 inches of space around them and to be sure to buy a heater with a thermostat so that if covered it will shut off once it reaches a certain temperature. .

“If you have pets, the cats in the house like to ride on them,” Lappe said. “I can’t blame them, it’s cold outside. They will overthrow them. Make sure you have the newest heaters because when knocked over they will go out.

Chief Lappe said the common denominator of fires resulting from heaters is not actually the heaters themselves.

“The problem is they’re plugged into a multiple outlet source, and that’s where we’re having trouble,” Lappe said. “That’s when the amperage gets high and they’re not rated for that much amperage.”

Also make sure you have working smoke detectors installed.

Copyright 2022 KPLC. All rights reserved.

. fire chief explains safety when it comes to appliances heating

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