Make sure your portable heaters keep you safe and warm this winter

When the temperature drops many households use portable heaters to keep warm but every year people are put at risk through not being aware of the potential dangers that they can pose.

Across the country deaths and injuries occur each year when people leave heaters switched on overnight or unattended. Portable heaters are popular with the elderly who are especially vulnerable. Relatives and neighbours are asked to check that they know how to use them safely.

Area Community Safety Officer Chloe Forde said: “Portable heaters can be very useful but it is vital that they are used properly. Heaters being placed close to flammable materials cause preventable fires and deaths every year. It is important to stay safe when heating your home and depending on the type of heater, people should also be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service offer the following advice:

  • Keep heaters away from flammable materials including clothes, curtains and furniture
  • Don’t leave a heater on unattended or when there small children or animals nearby
  • Don’t leave a heater on overnight
  • Don’t place clothes on a portable heater to dry
  • Secure a heater against a wall or fit wall mounted heaters
  • If you are using a gas or paraffin heater make sure the area is well ventilated and fit a carbon monoxide alarm
  • Keep the heater clean and well maintained
  • Don’t move the heater when it is on and allow to cool before moving
  • Don’t sit too close – if you fall asleep you could get burned
  • Always make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any portable heater.

Every room in your home should have a working smoke alarm and don’t forget to test it every month.

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13:02, 16 Jan 2017 by James Stirling