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Electrical wiring for a space heater caused the fire that burned a community center in the Prairie Green subdivision of Frederick Colorado on Monday, fire investigators say. Investigators with the Frederick-Firestone Fire Protection District found that the fire originated in the center’s pool utility room. The fire destroyed the east wing of the center’s clubhouse. This is a clear example of the dangers posed by electric heaters.

Although electricity is the safest and most convenient energy source in many heating situations, it is of course not without risks. The dangers of faulty wiring and the inappropriate use of electrical equipment in areas where water is present create the most common dangers.

Most modern electric heaters are designed with synthetic polymers in wiring, which are similar to rubber in their ability to insulate. Also, modern circuit breakers are able to disable a circuit in the case of a short circuit, or overloaded system.

But electric space heaters are still responsible for many accidents and deaths, despite these modern advances. Fire, rather than electrocution, remains the biggest danger. These fires, often caused by malfunctioning elements or careless use of the heater, are responsible for injuries and deaths every year. When using an electric space heater, be certain to place free of furniture or window coverings to avoid overheating of fabric material, and always avoid any contact with water.

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