Every winter, across the country, there are fires that are caused by space heaters.
This winter, more attention is being given to the danger of improper use of space heaters largely due to the recent fatal fires in both Philadelphia, PA, and Bronx, NY. In the later fire, 19 people perished, 9 of them children. Let’s continue to pray for the families and neighbors impacted, but as the old African proverb says, “when you pray, move your feet”. While moving our feel, how do we address some of the potential issues and circumstances that lead to families needing to improperly utilize space heaters?
We can confidently assert that many of the circumstances that lead to families improperly using a or multiple space heaters are long rooted in systemic race and classism, resulting in poverty, lack of affordable housing, and long the standing impact of the economic injustices that put families in situations where they can’t afford to heat their homes. We’re also aware of cases where the decapitated condition of the home may require a family to use a space heater to stay warm.
What can we do?
Here are a few ideas for us to consider:
- Making those that need the resources, aware of, and those resources available to those in need.
- Demand and contribute to the process of proposing legislation, and/or supporting current legislation that addresses the injustices many renters endure to keep a roof over their heads, to stay warm.
- Call for more accountability when it comes to enforcement of housing/safety codes.
- When there is no other option, use the space heater properly.
What is the proper use of a space heater?
Find out this Friday morning.
We were able to confirm with the Chief and Commissioner of the Boston Fire Department to discuss the proper use of space heaters this Friday morning.
You’re invited to watch and make sure that if you find yourself in a situation where you need to use a space heater, you have the information needed to stay safe while staying warm.