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Posted on: October 22, 2021

As temperatures cool, Springfield Fire Department urges caution with space heaters


According to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, space heaters are responsible for one third of home heating fires and about 80% of home heating fire deaths.

Since 2016, the Springfield Fire Department has responded to 106 residential house fires that were caused by a heating appliance. Portable space heaters have become a popular way to supplement central heating or heat one room.

If you use portable electric space heaters, the Fire Department encourages you to follow these tips and recommendations:

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory. 
  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away people or anything that can burn. 
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
  • Place the heater on a solid, flat surface. 
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over. 
  • Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit. 
  • Keep children away from the space heater. 
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord. 
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.

“A working smoke alarm is your best way to be alerted of a fire, and alarms should be replaced every 10 years,” said Fire Chief David Pennington.


Contact the Springfield Fire Department at [email protected] or 417-874-2300 to request a free smoke alarm. For media only: For more information, call the Springfield Fire Department media line at 417-874-2301.

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