From A Concerned Venice Resident via email:
Last weekend a neighbor of mine (a 30 year Venice resident and artist) left a space heater unattended in his studio for 2 hours, and lost EVERYTHING due to a fire it sparked, and extensive smoke damage. We neighbors got lucky…The smoke was seen by another neighbor and the fire dept. was called before the fire damaged more studios in the building. But, sadly, my neighbor lost his pets, and lost his life’s work, tools, papers, and paintings, all due to smoke damage and fire caused by his small space heater.
So I am writing this letter to remind people in Venice, especially those who live in older buildings, that space heaters, even in the off position, should NEVER EVER BE LEFT UNATTENDED. If you are not using your space heater, simply UNPLUG it.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for one-third (32%) of home heating fires and four out of five (79%) of home heating fire deaths.
Even the smallest heaters can spark or blow a fuse, and if your electric box is older, which most in Venice are, this can be a potential fire hazard.
Please be especially careful and unplug your space heaters in bad weather, as wind, downed power lines or blown fuses can spark a fire through your appliances.
It’s winter, and Venice can get chilly, but please please be considerate of your neighbors and UNPLUG your space heaters if left unattended. Thank you!
A Concerned Venice Resident and Business Owner.