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Insurance Commissioner Causey urges caution for portable heaters during cold weather

State Insurance Commissioner warns about winter fires and space heaters
State Insurance Commissioner warns about winter fires and space heaters
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 11:57 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Winter fires have already damaged several homes in Eastern North Carolina, but a warning Thursday could help prevent other houses from burning.

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urges North Carolinians to use extra caution, especially when operating portable heaters during the winter season.

Unfortunately, portable heaters can ignite, like one heater in Moore County Thursday. The family escaped but lost their home.

“I’m glad the family escaped their mobile home fire safely, but I’m saddened that the family lost everything in the blaze,” said Commissioner Causey, who is also the State Fire Marshal. “I hope families who use portable heaters will use an extra measure of caution to protect themselves as we get through the winter months.”

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating is the leading cause of fires in U.S. homes, with nearly 90% of home heating fire deaths involving stationary or portable space heaters.

Commissioner Causey offered essential advice for home heating during the winter months. He said you should keep anything flammable away from the heater, have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open heat units, never use your oven to heat your home, turn heaters off when not in use, and make sure you use proper fuel in space heaters. They also recommend plugging heating devices directly into electrical wall outlets and using extension cords sparingly.

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