Radiator Safety Tips: After New York and Philadelphia Fires, Experts Explain How to Use Radiators Safely

PHILADELPHIA – The tragic fires in New York on Sunday and Philadelphia last Wednesday underscore the importance of safety as more people seek to increase the heating in their homes.

A radiator started hell that killed 17 people, including eight children, in the Bronx.

“It started in a faulty electric heater, which was the cause of the fire,” New York City Fire Marshal Daniel A. Nigro said.

Unfortunately, fires started by radiators are all too common. The National Fire Protection Association said space heaters accounted for 44% of home heating fires and 85% of associated deaths.

There is no doubt that if you are using one you have to be extremely careful.

“You want to look at it and make sure it has a proper screen around the heating elements that you know small children and pets can’t easily get burned,” said Thomas Cook, acting commissioner of the heaters. Pennsylvania fires.

Also choose a radiator with a thermostat, overheating protection and automatic shutdown in case of overturning.

Other tips:

  • Place your heater on a bare, smooth floor.
  • Do not put it on a shelf, stool or cardboard box
  • Keep rugs and carpets away
  • Never tilt your radiator
  • Never keep it in a humid place like a kitchen / bathroom unless it is designed for it
  • Manufacturers advise you to plug your heater directly into a wall outlet instead of a surge protector or extension cord.
  • Keep your heater a few feet from the wall it is plugged into.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends using the three-foot rule: keep the heater three feet from all flammable objects, including furniture and curtains.

Also keep it three feet away from people, especially children.

And never leave a heater on in an unattended room. Turn it off and unplug it when you go to bed.

And an important reminder about smoke detectors: never remove batteries unless you are replacing them, and never turn off alarms. Alarms with built-in batteries can be permanently disabled with a tool.

“You can see it here on the back of this alarm and it has very detailed instructions and it should only be used at the end of an alarm’s life,” said Sharon Cooksey of Kidde.

Once deactivated, the detector will no longer function. It should be discarded and replaced immediately.

Additionally, New York City officials said residents who fled the blaze where the unit started left the door open and the blaze allowed the blaze to spread through building.

In Philadelphia, some buildings are required to have self-closing doors. Make sure your building is compliant. Read the rules and talk to your building supervisor.

National Fire Protection Association: Electric Heaters Safety

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