Fire Cause Determined
updated: Dec 11, 2013, 10:10 AM
Source: Santa Barbara County Fire Department
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department investigators have determined that the cause of the structure
fire that occurred at 3884 Cherry Hill Road in Santa Maria today was a result of an overloaded electrical
The investigation traced the cause of the blaze to a space heater that had been plugged into an outlet,
overloading the electrical circuit. This was the second fire in four days attributed to the use of space
heaters. People should use caution and be careful when using these devices.
For your safety, follow these space heater safety tips:
• Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater
carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label.
• Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a
• Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters.
Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
• Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and
pets away from the heater.
• Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use
the shortest possible heavy duty gauge cord. Always check and follow any manufacturer's instructions
pertaining to the use of extension cords.
• Buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped
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