(Columbus) - Nearly a third of all house fires are caused by space heaters. They also account for four out of five home-heating fire deaths.
"With the cost of fuel, fuel oil, and gas typically that's where we see the increase of space heaters," said Peter Lore, vice president of claims for Nationwide Insurance.
Lore says half of all space heater fires happen this time of year. Many of those fires are preventable.
The National Fire Protection Association says space heaters were the spark that starts about 19,300 house fires annually.
"Keep them 3 feet away from any flammable material like bedding or drapes or rugs," Lore said.
Keep space heaters on a level surface away from pets and children and don't plug them into extension cords because they can easily overheat.
Lore also says it's important to switch off space heaters at night. He says the bulk of space heater-related deaths happen between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m.
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