Fire officials warn, check area around baseboard heaters to prevent fires

WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- A heater was the cause of a bad fire in Stearns County that happened in a 2-year old's bedroom. The official report says blankets were sitting near the heater when they caught on fire. So what can you do to make sure you and your kids are safe? We sat down with a fire marshal in West Fargo to talk specifically about baseboard heaters and what you can do to prevent a fire.

"Their intent is to have the air move through the bottom, come through the top and heat the room," says West Fargo Fire Marshal, Dell Sprecher.

Dell Sprecher is a fire marshal with the West Fargo Fire Department. This is the time of year when he sees more house fires caused by space heaters. But there's another culprit in some homes that could lead to devastation, that’s baseboard heaters.

"They do get hot, it's a heater. They work on convection which means there's no fan blowing or anything and the heat rises," says Sprecher.

Sprecher tell us the best way to avoid any kind of fire with these heaters is simple. Keep things off of them.

Valley News Live: “So biggest thing to remember, keep things a foot away at least, and don't have curtains draping over them, toys on them, anything like that?"

"Don't put any blankets or laying objects on top of them because that's not the intent of them," says Sprecher.

And as the West Fargo fire marshal, he inspects these heaters in public hallways of apartment buildings. But when it comes to your private residence, that's up to you to make sure you have nothing laying near or on these heaters.

The West Fargo fire marshal also tells us fires from these kinds of heaters are rare in the F-M area.

But through research we found there has been recalls on some of them in the past. To stay up to date on those, you can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission's website.