For Immediate Release: January 29, 2019

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

With cold snap ahead, State Fire Marshal Mike Causey shows dangers of space heaters in live fire demonstration

RALEIGH -- As an arctic front moves in to North Carolina today, Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Causey is leading the charge to prevent fire deaths in 2019 by reminding residents of the dangers associated with space heaters.

2018 was the deadliest year on record for fire deaths in North Carolina; 134 people lost their lives because of fire -- 50 more people from the year before.

On January 17, 2019, State Fire Marshal Causey, along with the Charlotte Fire Department, organized a live fire demonstration to show how dangerous electrical heaters can be when not used correctly.

The first demonstration showed the dangers of overloading an electrical outlet by plugging in a heater to a source such as a drop cord. The second demonstration showed how quickly a home fire can ignite when a heater gets too close to any combustible objects.

For broadcast quality video of the live fire demonstration, CLICK HERE.

"You'll see from this demonstration that within 30 seconds to one minute, you can have a whole room engulfed in flames," said Commissioner Causey. "Portable space heaters are a popular choice to help people warm up their homes but it's absolutely important to make sure you use them safely."

Commissioner Causey recommends you follow these tips and recommendations to prevent home fires caused by electrical heaters:

For more information about fire prevention and safety, visit the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal or National Fire Protection Association.