While only 32 percent of home heating fires involve space heaters, they are involved in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths, according to the new report Home Fires Involving Heating Equipment released today by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Heating equipment continues to be the second leading cause of home fires behind cooking and the second leading cause of home fire deaths behind smoking.
NFPA is urging caution and asking the public to practice safe heating behaviors as the peak time for home heating fires continues; half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February, 2003-2007.
"Half of fatal home space heater fires started because something was too close to the heater and ignited. Keep heaters and things that can burn at least three feet apart," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of communications. "Heating fires and the deaths they cause can usually be prevented with awareness and a few simple actions."