A recent tragedy took the lives of three young children in Minnesota. While the story is heart-wrenching, the lesson from this misfortune should be discussed in our homes so it doesn’t happen again. On Sunday, October 4, 2015, three children under the age of 7 were caught in a house fire due to an oven being left-open to heat the home.
The Minneapolis Fire Chief stated, “Ovens and stoves are not heating appliances. … Do not use your ovens or stovetops for heating.”
According to reports, the weather in Minneapolis was around 49 degrees and the children had been using the appliance as a heating element to stay warm. Although the house the children lived in was 100 years old, the house passed inspection last January which confirmed that the smoke detectors were working properly.
While the community and family members mourn the loss of these children, this story can be a lesson for all of us. National Fire Prevention week is right around the corner and this is one example of how we can protect ourselves from a house fire.
A stove stop or oven should never be used as a source of heat. If we look solely at the dangers of heating—the National Fire Protection Agency states the following:
- The leading factor for heating equipment to catch fire is the failure to clean the appliance.
- Space heaters—including wood stoves were involved in 1/3 of home heating fires and 4 out of 5 involved home heating deaths.
- Over half of home heating fire deaths resulted from fire caused by heating equipment to close to items like furniture, clothing, bedding and blankets.
- In recent years, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, fire deaths and fire injuries.
The use of ovens and stoves as heat generating appliances should be avoided at all costs. We will continue to discuss this subject and many others this month as they extremely important topics for conversation. Please keep your safety, and the safety of others, in mind, before using heat-producing appliances to heat in your home.
For more information about this article, contact Kaine Law.