Space Heater Fire Forces Lakeland Family Out Into The Cold

Lakeland, Fla. (970 WFLA)- The Red Cross helped a Lakeland family find a place to stay after a fire damaged their Savannah Avenue home early Friday morning.     The home was almost a complete loss, preventing  two adults, one child and the family pet from staying.

Fire investigators say a space heater had tipped over while the family was sleeping, and fell near a pile of clothing.  The home did not have any working smoke alarms.  No one was injured. 

Lakeland Fire Department reminds you to take special precautions to stay fire safe, especially when temperatures drop.

Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.

Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.

Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.

Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.

Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. 

Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.

Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. 

Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Photo Credit: J Conrad

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