BURRILLVILLE – The latest installment in the Seasons of Safety coloring cartoon campaign aims to teach kids and families about the importance of proper use and placement of space heaters.

Space heaters keep us warm in the winter season, but also come with risks if not properly used and maintained.

This cartoon aims to help open up dialogue about space heater risks that you might not discuss in a normal situation. Awareness comes with open discussions about safety between kids and adults.

It is the newest segment in a series on home fire safety and burn prevention. More will follow over the next six to eight weeks, designed to help heighten awareness while educating kids about these winter season hazards.

Two primary safety concerns regarding space heaters are proper placement in the home, and the need to keep kids at least three feet away from these heating sources.

Kids should never play near or touch space heaters. The slightest touch can cause severe burns on the skin of a child. One way to help prevent burns is to place tape on the floor around the space heater and tell the kids that this is their burn prevention safety zone.

Space heaters should never be placed on carpeted floors as it could cause a fire. They should also never be placed near exits to the home, as a space heater could overheat and catch fire, blocking the pathway to a safe escape.

Space heaters should also be away from clothing, curtains, furniture or any bedding materials. To maximize safe use, always place space heaters at least three feet away from everything else in the home.

Parents should discuss these safety tips with the entire family. It could help prevent unintentional burns and potentially save someone’s life.

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. His work includes collaboration with groups such as the Governor’s Office on Highway Safety, the Rhode Island State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Rhode Island State Police, the Rhode Island Police Chief’s Association and the Rhode Island Fire Chief’s Association, along with Rhode Island Safe Kids Coalition, Rhode Island Safe Communities and Hasbro Children’s Hospital Injury-Prevention Division.
A talented artist who is also involved in the local car show circuit, Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children.

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