The Springfield Fire Department (MO) details that three house fires in the last week were caused by misuse of space heaters, reports the News-Leader.
On Monday, a house burned when a resident used a space heater in the garage in an attempt to keep some stray cats warm.
On Thursday, the use of five space heaters overloaded the electrical panel of a house. The occupant was sleeping when a neighbor noticed the house was on fire. He alerted the resident and she was able to make it out without injury.
Also on Thursday, the electrical line of a home overheated, causing a fire. Multiple space heaters were in use in the house.
No one was injured in any of the fires. There were no working smoke alarms in either home that caught on fire Thursday.
The incidents remind residents that space heaters can be extremely dangerous. Here are some tips to stay safe while using a space heater this winter:
* Make sure your space heater has an emergency shutoff, in case it tips over.
* Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including clothes and furniture.
* Never leave a space heater unattended.
* Plug space heaters directly into an electrical outlet and never use an extension cord which can overheat, resulting in a fire.
* Remember, overall, central heating is safer than space heaters.
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