HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Even though frigid temperatures are continuing to drop, dangerous fire risks are still a threat.
Thousands of home fires are started each year by space heaters, which will be used in many Connecticut residents’ homes this weekend as historically cold temperatures sweep the state.
On Friday, Senator Richard Blumenthal will announce new legislation that would require mandatory safety standards for space heaters, aimed at preventing thousands of fires. One example of this includes having automatic shut-off features on space heaters.
One of the biggest causes of cold-weather fires is space heaters. In Hamden last March, investigators said a space heater was left on with no one home in a house on Smith Drive, causing the building to go up in flames. The fire was pouring from the house’s windows when firefighters arrived at the scene.
The legislation Senator Blumenthal is proposing would require space heaters to have an automatic shut-off so that incidents like that don’t happen again.
Most space heaters will automatically shut off when they’re tipped over, but there are more ways to keep safe.
Make sure they’re at least three feet away from anything flammable, such as comforters, curtains, or sheets. Check for any broken or loose cords, and never use an extension cord. Experts say to always plug a space heater into the wall.
And, always have a working smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Senator Blumenthal’s office said automatic shut-offs for space heaters would prevent thousands of damaging fires every year.
So, the senator will make his announcement for the new proposal on Friday at 9:30 a.m., in front of the Hamden Fire Department.