Fire Marshal shares heater safety reminders following apartment fire

Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:23 PM CST
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - As we prepare for our latest round of cold weather, the Lawton Fire Marshal’s office wants to remind citizens to be safe with space heaters.

Officials are pushing this after a Lawton apartment fire Monday morning.

During the winter months, every one out of seven home fires are related to a heating appliance according to Deputy Fire Marshal Heath Want.

“So, we always recommend that you get a listed appliance, and what that is, is one that has been tested in a laboratory for the purpose that it’s being used for. If it’s an electric space heater plug it directly in the wall, no extension cords, and make sure they are three feet from anything that is combustible and can burn,” Want said.

Those who use space heaters can check the appliance itself to find a “UL” label confirming it has been lab tested and approved.

Also, officials say when you leave your home, make sure the heater is turned off and there’s a number of other things people can do to keep their homes from catching fire.

“We don’t recommend you use your oven as a heating appliance. Leaving the door open to heat generated through the house is a very unsafe practice, and can also cause a fire in you residents as well. Not getting your chimney cleaned and producing the build up of creosote in the chimney can cause a fire as well,” Want said.

If your home loses power, generators should be kept outside of a house and away from windows where exhaust could leak inside.

Want said properly working smoke alarms are a vital part of what keeps you and your family out of harms way.

“We recommend that you test your batteries twice a year in the fall back, and spring forward time. You need them in each bedroom of the house and in the hallway outside the bedroom doors,” Want said.

Want said people can contact their local fire department if they are in need of a smoke alarm.

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