As we prepare for the season of cuddling up and staying warm, a heavy warning about using a space heater has come out.
Space heaters are a great way to heat up a small space, but they should never be plugged into a power strip, according to KTVK.
The Morgan County Fire Department in Utah has put out a scary warning that everyone needs to pay attention to.
“With cooler temperatures expected, some may want to use their small space heaters,” the fire department posted on Facebook. “If so, DO NOT plug them into a power strip. These devices are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat, causing a fire hazard.”
Space heaters can easily overheat to more than 500-600 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Not only does this present a severe fire hazard, but it can also create an electric shock incident where someone can get injured.
“Space heaters can be effective tools for providing added warmth at home, but it’s critical that people follow basic precautions to ensure that they’re used safely,” Lorraine Carli, vice president of the National Fire Protection Association’s Outreach and Advocacy division, told KTVK.
According to the NFPA, heating equipment, such as space heaters, is the second leading cause of house fires throughout the U.S.
Space heaters alone accounted for more than 43 percent of home fires from 2011 to 2015 and 85 percent of home heating fire deaths.
If you do plan on using a space heater this winter season, be sure to keep a few tips in mind.
Start by reading any instructions and warning labels on your space heater, and then look for cracks, broken plugs or loose connections. If you see worn or damaged parts do not use the space heater.
Always plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet; never use an extension cord or power strip to power your space heater. This could lead to overheating and cause a fire.
Never plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet that your space heater is using.
Do not leave your space heater unattended and don’t let your pets or children play near the space heater at any time. It also shouldn’t be used “to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes,” according to KTVK.
As tempted as you might be, never use a power strip to power your space heater. Not only will this keep you safe when using your space heater, but it will also make sure that a fire doesn’t ruin your holidays.
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