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Stay warm safely: Taipei City Fire Department sounds the alarm on improper heating appliance use

After the Double Tenth holiday, the northeastern monsoon brought cooler temperatures across Taiwan. In response, residents have turned to electric heaters and blankets for warmth. Recent data indicates that the majority of fires associated with these heating devices over the past five years stemmed from improper use. Taipei City Fire Department underscores the importance of following user manual instructions to ensure safety.


According to statistics from the Taipei City Fire Department, there have been 32 electrical fires attributed to electric heaters, blankets, or warm air machines in the past five years. Notably, bedrooms were the most frequent sites of these incidents, accounting for 19 cases (59.4%). Improper appliance use was the primary cause in 14 incidents (43.8%), with electrical shorts following closely at 12 cases (37.5%). Additionally, a notable incident occurred in Taipei when an electric heater, placed too close to bedding, sparked a fire, injuring a resident.


The Fire Department advises that electric heaters are seasonally-used products. Before their annual use, it's essential to clean the vents, examine the power cords, and inspect the appliance for external damage. Particular attention should be given to power cords, ensuring they aren't damaged by bending or tying. When operating, heaters should be situated away from flammable items, especially bedding. For those using electric blankets, it's recommended to either power them off or set a timer after heating. Avoid bending or folding them tightly to prevent potential damage to internal wires. Importantly, all heating devices should be plugged directly into dedicated wall sockets instead of extension cords.


In recent years, rechargeable hand warmers, powered by lithium batteries, have emerged as popular personal warming solutions. The Fire Department strongly suggests consumers select products with recognized safety certifications. Adhering to the user manual is essential, as is handling the devices with care to avoid drops or hard impacts. Using the original chargers is crucial, and substituting them with other electronic device chargers is discouraged. Simultaneously charging and using should also be avoided.


In conclusion, the Fire Department offers critical electrical safety reminders:

  1. Do not overload circuits.
  2. Avoid damaging or binding wires.
  3. Keep plugs and sockets dry and clean.
  4. Disconnect devices when not actively in use.
  5. Avoid products lacking safety certifications.
  6. Position combustibles away from electrical appliances.

Consistently reviewing the safety of electrical products in areas like bedrooms and living rooms is also urged. Installing residential fire alarms can provide early fire detection, further ensuring safety.


The Electric heater was positioned too close to the bedding, resulting in a fire.