space heater
Photo: Getty Images/Dennis Lane Photography
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Space Heaters

Sitting around the Christmas tree in a drafty old house might prompt some of us to crank up a space heater. Just keep in mind that one-third of home-heating-related fires—and about 80 percent of home-heating fire deaths—are caused by these supplementary heaters. Keep them away from anything that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, or bedding. Aside from space-heater flare-ups, the holidays are prime time for home-heating fires in general. In 2008, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 66,100 home fires, which resulted in about 480 deaths, 1,660 injuries, and $1.1 billion in property damage.

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