Space heater deaths up in Philadelphia

Philadelphia’s Fire Commissioner is concerned about the number of fatal fires this year. There has been an uptick in fires involving portable heaters.

Four have died from fires caused by portable heaters this year in Philadelphia, including two from kerosene heaters. There was only one such death in the last two years combined. Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers says when it’s really cold, people often don’t follow the proper procedures for refilling kerosene heaters.

“Three feet from any combustible materials, always make sure it is cooled down and you take it outside when you have to refill those kerosene heaters,” said Ayers. “Always use K-1 Kerosene, never use any other fuel.”

The commissioner is also warning people to be sure that your home heater, carbon monoxide detector and smoke detectors are all in good working order. Ayers says even keeping matches away from children is important since there have been four fire deaths from children playing with matches this year.

More detailed winter fire safety tips are available at www.freedomfromfire.com.

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