ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Standards and Caution Necessary When Using Space Heaters This Winter

New York, Feb 14, 2003

As temperatures drop in many parts of the nation, space heaters can serve as a simple solution to bring comforting, supplemental warmth to indoor rooms. Safety is a critical concern with these convenient appliances, as dozens of recent headlines have revealed the harm space heaters can cause to homes, property, and lives. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds consumers that only space heaters that are tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory should be used, and that special care should be taken in their placement in the home.

A space heater is a self-contained, free standing air heating appliance intended for installation in the space being heated and not intended for duct connection. The CPSC estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of these heaters. Each year, more than 300 people die in fires started by room heaters, and an estimated 6,000 persons receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

ANSI member and accredited standards developer Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has produced an American National Standard for testing these appliances. UL 1995-1998: Heating and Cooling Equipment covers stationary equipment for use in nonhazardous locations rated 7200 V or less, single-or 3-phase, and remote control assemblies for room fan heaters units, central heating furnaces, and similar fixed electric space heating for comfort heating.

The CPSC offers a space heater brochure that includes important safety tips for electric, kerosene, gas and wood-burning space heaters. The brochure is free, and can be accessed on-line, by calling CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or by writing to: Space Heater, CPSC, Washington, D.C. 20207

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