It’s that time of year again in the greater Chicago area. Folks are taking their winter coats out of storage, cranking up their furnaces, and prepping for what is usually a cold Midwest winter.
Throughout many Chicago-area offices and homes, people use space heaters to stave off the chill. Available in both wall-mounted and free-standing models, they’re a great way to create a cozy environment. However, space heaters used everywhere, including the Chicago neighborhoods of Gold Coast, Logan Square, Near North, and River North, have the potential to start a fire and create extensive fire damage.
According to Carnegie Mellon University, 900 space heater fires are reported to U.S. fire departments annually, causing an estimated 70 fatalities, 150 injuries, and $53 million dollars in fire and smoke damage and property loss. Fifty-two percent of the space heater fires that occur in residential buildings are the result of the heater being too close to combustible items, such as blankets, furniture, or paper. If you’re the victim of a space heater fire, call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons for expert and compassionate fire and smoke damage repair and cleanup.
To prevent having to make that call, here are several tips for the safe and proper use of space heaters:
- Do not use space heaters to thaw frozen pipes, dry clothing, cook food, or warm bedding.
- Do not operate a heater that you suspect is damaged.
- Never leave a heater running unattended, and always turn it off before going to bed.
- Keep all combustible items such as beds, sofas, curtains, clothes, and paper at least 3 feet from the front, sides, and rear of the heater.
- Heaters should not be used in damp spaces, such as bathrooms, unless they are specifically designed for that purpose.
- Always plug the heater’s cord directly into a wall socket. Using extension cords or power strips can cause cords to overheat and ignite.
- During use, check frequently to determine if the heater plug or cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is hot. If it is, disconnect the heater immediately and have it inspected by an authorized repair person.
At ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we have the proper gear, training, resources, compassion, and overall expertise to efficiently and professionally handle all types of fire damage, whether the blaze was started by a space heater or something else.
ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons serves 18 Chicago neighborhoods. Contact us immediately at 773-376-1110 for all of your fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage cleanup needs. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to help get your home or business back to its pre-loss condition as soon as possible, while minimizing your heartaches and headaches.