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Homeowners should be aware of home heating dangers

Posted On Fri, December 4, 2009

Fire damage is one reason why people opt to have home insurance, though many homeowners may not realize that they are putting themselves at risk when trying to stay warm this winter.

A recent report from Liberty Mutual and the International Association of Fire Fighters notes that many people may not realize that some of the things they do to keep the cold away may also end up hurting them. For example, a 2006 survey from the two groups showed that about 25 percent of responding adults considered space heaters to be a safe piece of equipment.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 73 percent of home heating fire deaths in 2006 were associated with space heaters. Furthermore, 30 percent of home heating fires in 2006 were tied to space heaters.

In order for people to be safe while trying to stay warm, Liberty Mutual's Be Fire Smart Program advises homeowners to keep space heaters at least three feet away from combustible materials. Space heaters should also never be left unattended.

"At the start of the most dangerous home fire season of the year, families need to get the facts on fire safety and take extra precaution in protecting their homes," Greg Gordon, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Liberty Mutual, said.

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