For Immediate Release - January 31, 2014

2 Space Heater Fires in 2 Days in Randolph

Fire Officials Offer Keep Warm, Keep Safe Tips

State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan and Randolph Fire Chief Richard F. Donovan offered winter heating fire safety tips in the wake of two fires in Randolph in two days involving space heaters. Coan said, “We want people to keep warm and keep safe. There’s more winter weather ahead.” For tips on how to Keep Warm Keep Safe, go to http://www.mass.gov/eopss/agencies/dfs/dfs2/osfm/pubed/fs-topics/fs-topics-a/keep-warm-keep-safe.html.

Space Heaters

“Cold snaps like this is when we tend to see space heater fires and one of every 20 space heater fires in the past five years has caused a fire death,” said Chief Donovan. “Space heaters need space, so use them in a 3-foot circle of safety, free of anything that catch fire.” He added, “Space heaters are not designed to replace your central heating system, they are only designed to provide a little extra heat on a temporary basis. So be sure to turn them off when you leave room or go to bed at night.”

Overloaded extension cords cause many space heater fires. It is best to plug space heaters and other heat producing appliances directly into the wall outlet. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is rated for the same wattage as the appliance and use only one.

100 South Main Street

Investigators believe the fire early this morning at 100 South Main Street was caused by a space heater overloading aged wiring. Six people escaped safely. Damage to the home is estimated at $180,000.

19 Marie Way

Around 1:00 a.m. on January 30, a fire at 19 Marie Way started where a space heater was plugged into a power strip. Either the heater came in contact with nearby combustibles or the heater overloaded the power strip. Both are common causes of space heater fires. Smoke alarms alerted the family and four people, two adults and two children, escaped this fire. The estimated loss is $100,00.

Make Sure Smoke Alarms and CO Alarms are Working

“One of the simplest steps for safety you can take is to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working. They will give you the earliest possible warning that something is wrong so you can escape safely,” said Coan.