NEW YORK (PIX11) — Nearly a year after a malfunctioning space heater sparked a Bronx fire that left 17 dead, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation targeting safety standards for electric heaters.
The bill signed on Thursday requires electric space heaters to have thermostats and automatic shut-offs. They also need to be certified by a testing and certification body recognized and approved by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“After flames engulfed the Twin Parks apartments last year, we worked to help impacted families recover and vowed to never forget the tragedy and to protect New Yorkers,” Hochul said. “As the weather gets colder once again and we crank up the heat in our homes, this legislation will help prevent future disasters and keep New Yorkers safe as we ensure higher safety standards for all electric space heaters sold in our state.”
The FDNY has shared a number of tips for safe usage of space heaters:
- Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or the house
- Turn off space heaters when going to bed
- If the cord is hot, turn off your space heater
- Never leave a space heater unattended
- Make sure your space heater has an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark, which means it’s been safely tested
- Don’t plug a space heater into an extension cord, plug it directly into the socket
- Don’t place your space heater on a counter or furniture, keep it on the floor
- Place your space heater at least three feet from combustibles, such as newspapers, blankets and curtains