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Survey finds increased usage of alternative heating sources during winter

Posted On Fri, January 29, 2010

A new survey from Nationwide Insurance has found that many consumers looking for any means possible to stay warm during the winter are putting both their houses and themselves in danger by using alternative techniques that are quite risky.

According to the study, 41 percent of Americans don't inspect their chimney every year for any blockages that could be flammable, while 25 percent inspect it less than once every four years.

Additionally, 29 percent of Americans reported having a space heater that they did not turn off before going to bed, while 11 percent said they had attached extension cords to the heaters to gain mobility while sacrificing safety.

"While fireplaces and space heaters help keep home heating costs down, the recent jump in fire claims caused by these devices highlight how costly they can be if installed incorrectly or not used properly," said Bill Windsor, Nationwide's Safety Officer. "Each of these claims represents a significant and often life-changing event that in most cases could have been prevented."

The survey was commissioned by Nationwide after a review of their insurance claims in recent years showed an uptick in the amount of fires caused by "alternative heating sources."

For those who do not have conventional heating systems in their homes and depend on additional heating sources, there comes an increased fire hazard. In order to ensure that one's bases are covered, make sure that your home insurance coverage covers any damage that may be caused by an alternative heating source.

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