Space Heater Fire Safety

Space Heater Fires Between 2008 and 2017

One hundred thirty-six (136) space heater fires were reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal between 2008 and 2017. While these fires are not frequent, they are deadly. One of every 34 space heater fires causes a fatality.

Between 2008 and 2017, space heater fires caused 4 civilian deaths, 19 civilian injuries,
27 fire service injuries and an estimated dollar loss of $10.3 million. The average dollar loss for a space heater fire is $71,701. Twenty-one percent (21%) of these fires were caused when combustible materials such as bedding, mattresses and pillows, clothing or furniture were too close to the heater, and another 9% were caused when rugs, carpets or mats were under or too close to the heater.

Safety Tips

If you must use a space heater for heat, use it as safely as possible.

  • When buying a heater, look for one that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL).
  • Keep the heater 3-feet away from drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
  • Place the heater on a level surface away from areas where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
  • Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy duty cord marked with a power rating at least as high as that on the label of the heater itself.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep.
  • Supervise children and pets when a space heater is in use.
  • Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
  • The sale and use of unvented kerosene heaters is illegal in Massachusetts.

Brewster Fire Department Is Offering A Stop The Bleed Training Program




Monday December 3, 2018 6:00 p.m.

Fire Headquarters

1671 Main Street


Please call 508-896-7018 to register!

Brewster Fire/Rescue Redminds Our Residents to Leave Adequate Space Around Fire Hydrants

These photos are from an apartment building fire in Baltimore County this past Saturday evening.

Brewster Firefighters Respond to Mulch Pile Fire

On Saturday November 24 at approximately 7:00 a.m. the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to Cape Sand and Recycling on Freemans Way to assist with extinguishing a fire in a large mulch pile. Employees called dispatch after finding the water supply lines used to extinguish spot fires at the facility frozen from several days of below freezing temperatures.

On arrival Acting Captain Chad Foakes reported a large mulch pile on fire and requested the response of a second engine to the scene. Car 232 (Deputy Chief Varley) arrived on scene and established command. Engine 234 was assigned as the fire attack engine for the incident and Engine 239 was used to shuttle water from a nearby fire hydrant. Firefighters using hose lines wet down the burning mulch as Cape Sand employees used large excavators to overturn the pile for final extinguishment. As a result of the smoke condition from the incident the Orleans Fire Department was dispatched to several runs involving outside odors of smoke in their community. All Brewster units were placed back in service at approximately 9:00 a.m.


Brewster Fire Responds to Deer Path Circle Structure Fire

On Thursday November 22 at 11:12 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 10 Deer Path Circle. The Harwich and Orleans Fire Departments were also dispatched on an automatic line box response. On arrival Brewster Engine 234 and Ladder 237 under the direction of Captain Chris Flavell reported a fire in the basement of a two-story wood frame private dwelling with heavy smoke throughout the structure. He then ordered the engine crew to stretch a 200’ attack line to side “D” of the building for fire suppression. Brewster Car 231 (Chief Moran) arrived on scene and assumed command of the incident. Crews from Brewster Ladder 237 and Orleans Ladder 176 were assigned to conduct primary searches and provide ventilation of the structure. Harwich Engine 65 arrived on scene and was assigned to standby as the Rapid Intervention Crew. 

The Brewster Engine 234 crew was able to quickly knock down the main body of fire and contain damage to the basement. Two occupants of the home were transported to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life threatening smoke inhalation related injuries by ambulances from the Harwich and Dennis Fire Departments. Orleans Deputy Chief Deering and Harwich Deputy Chief LeBlanc also assisted at the scene.

The home sustained heavy smoke damage throughout and minor damage to the electrical wiring and floor joists in the area of origin. Red Cross assisted the residents with temporary relocation. All Brewster units were placed back into service at approximately 00:45 a.m.


Happy Thanksgiving

The Members of the Brewster Fire Department Wish Everyone a Happy, Healthy, and Safe Thanksgiving

State Fire Marshal Offers Thanksgiving Fire Safety Tips

From Mass Department of Fire Services:“Thanksgiving is a wonderful family holiday, but the day can be ruined with a cooking or candle fire, a burn injury, or a carbon monoxide incident from long-term use of the oven,” said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey. There are more home fires on Thanksgiving than any other single day in Massachusetts, twice as many as New Year’s Eve which ranks second. “The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to keep your family safe. To start with, every home should have working smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms,” he added.


Cooking Safety Tips

Cookingis the leading cause of fires in the home and the leading cause of fire injuries, so it is not surprising that 87% of Thanksgiving Day fires were caused by cooking. State Fire Marshal Ostroskey offered these cooking fire safety tips:


  • Check to make sure your oven is empty before turning it on.
  • Wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  • Turn pot handles inward over the stove.
  • Remember to “stand by your pan” and stay in the kitchen when boiling, frying or broiling.
  • Use a timer when baking or roasting and never leave the house with the oven running.
  • The best way to respond to a stovetop fire is to “put a lid on it” and turn off the heat.
  • The best way to respond to an oven or broiler fire is to keep the doors closed and turn off the heat.
  • If the fire is not quickly snuffed out, leave the house and call 9-1-1 from outside.


Gas Ovens: A Source of CO

Generally, the confined space of a closed gas oven used for cooking does not produce enough carbon monoxide (CO) to be of concern, unless you are using it for several hours like when roasting a turkey. If you have a kitchen exhaust fan, use it; if not, crack a window for fresh air when using the gas oven for an extended period of time.



Candlesmake any holiday table festive, but it is important to follow these safety tips:.


  • Use candles inside a 1-foot circle of safety free of anything that can burn.
  • Think twice about lighting the candles on that lovely centerpiece if it means you can’t follow the 1-foot circle of safety rule.
  • Use extra care with candles when children and pets are around.
  • Consider using flameless, battery-operated candles instead.
  • Blow out candles when leaving the room; don’t leave candles burning unattended.
  • Use non-combustibles holders or saucers.
  • Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.


 Burn Safety


  • Keep children 3-feet away from the stove for safety to prevent burns.
  • Run cool water on burns; call 9-1-1 for more serious burn injuries.
  • Remember to stop, drop, cover and roll if clothing ignites.


Heating #2 Cause of Fires on Thanksgiving


  • Especially if you don’t regularly use your fireplace, be sure to have the chimney inspected and cleaned by a professional, before lighting that first fire on the holiday. Everyone who heats with wood should have their chimney cleaned and flue inspected at the start of the heating season.


Brewster Firefighters Attend Live Burn Training

On Wednesday November 14, members of the Brewster Fire Department attended live fire training at the Barnstable County Fire Academy. This bi-annual training event is a critical component of our efforts to maintain operational efficiency and effectiveness during fire suppression operations.

During the rapid paced and dynamic training session Fire Academy instructors placed the firefighters in a variety of challenging live burn scenarios designed to simulate typical structure fire responses common to the Brewster Fire Department and our surrounding mutual aid communities.

Throughout the program firefighters carried out a number of fire suppression tasks that tested their operational skills and techniques in areas such as fire attack, ventilation, search & rescue, forcible entry, and incident command. This hands-on live fire training is a valuable asset to preparing and maintaining our members ability to operate safely, effectively, and efficiently at structure fire related incidents.

The Brewster Fire Department would like to thank the staff at the Barnstable County Fire Academy for their dedicated and expert guidance during this outstanding training event.


Brewster Fire Responds to Structure Fire

On Monday November 5th at 2:02 p.m. the Brewster Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire at 12 McGuerty Way. The Harwich and Orleans Fire Departments were also dispatched on an automatic line box response. While responding units received information reporting a fire in a dryer with extension to the basement of the dwelling. Due to the proximity of the fire to Harwich Station 2 Engine 69 arrived first due and reported a moderate smoke condition with a fire in the basement.  Brewster Car 231 (Chief Moran) arrived on scene and assumed command of the incident and Brewster Car 232 (Deputy Chief Varley) was assigned operations. The Harwich engine company along with off duty Brewster firefighters stretched a 1 ¾ attack line through the front door into the basement and quickly knocked down the main body of fire.  Brewster Squad 241 arrived on scene and laid a 5” supply line from the hydrant to Harwich Engine 69 and assisted with Rapid Intervention. Orleans Ladder 176 arrived and was assigned to ventilate the dwelling. All occupants were out of the residence on arrival of fire department units. During the incident the Dennis Fire Department provided coverage at Brewster Headquarters. The home sustained moderate smoke damage throughout and damage to the basement in the area of the dryer which was severely damaged and removed by fire department personnel. National Grid cut gas service to the home and Red Cross assisted the residents with relocation services. No injuries to firefighters or occupants were reported. All Brewster units were placed back into service at 3:45 pm.


Barnstable County Technical Rescue and Dive Teams Participate in Statewide Homeland Security Drill

Members of the Barnstable County Technical Rescue and Dive Teams are participating in Vigilant Guard 19-1, which is a full-scale civil-military training exercise, hosted by the Massachusetts National Guard with 46 federal, state, local and civilian organizations, November 5-9, 2018, held at various locations throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Technical Rescue Team was assigned to Joint Base Cape Cod and performed breaching and breaking, EMS and mass casualty exercises, and shoring operations at a simulated explosion and building collapse with a group of firefighters from the Boston metro area. 16 members of the Dive Team were deployed to northwest Massachusetts and are participating in a variety of swift water rescue exercises with other water rescue trained first responder resources.

Vigilant Guard is an exercise sponsored by US Northern Command that provides local, state, and federal agencies, National Guard units, and private sector partners to cooperatively work together under real-life scenarios to improve emergency response plans, inter-agency relationships, communication capabilities, field operations, and interoperability.