Consumer Advisory: Space Heaters and Carbon Monoxide Alerts

The Regulatory Commission of Alaska’s (RCA) Consumer Protection & Information Section offers the following safety tips for Alaskans. This information comes from the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA) and Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC).

Now that it is getting colder, typically the use of space heaters and cases of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. Every year in the United States, more than 258,000 residential fires are associated with the use of space heaters, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In the U.S. every year, fires and carbon monoxide poisonings are caused by space heaters. Make sure your space heater:

  • Meets the latest safety standards

  •  Is never plugged into a power strip

  •  Is only used in an open area

  • Is at least three feet away from flammable items

  • Is well vented

Further, Alaskan villages have the highest mortality rate from carbon monoxide poisoning in the USA, according to University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service.

What you can do:

  • Install Smoke Detectors

  • Install a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

  • Clear the area around your heating system

  • Open windows and use exhaust fans

  • Practice proper maintenance on heating systems and appliances

  • Proper Ventilation

  • Keep multiple fire extinguishers near stoves and heating systems

  • Make sure your wood stove is venting properly

Stay warm and be safe!

Date Issued: 11/21/2023