It’s winter, which means it’s going to get colder every day from here on out, which is why we are all turning to heaters to stay warm. They are the ultimate winter must have to keep your house nice and toasty, especially at night. But, if you are using a space heater we are here to tell you to not plug it into an extension cord power stip! Why? Well, doing so can result in a terrible fire hazard!
According to fire experts, extension cords and power strips are not equipped to handle the extra current flow needed to power a space heater and can overheat, eventually catching on fire. Firefighters state heating elements in a space heater can get up to more than 500 Fahrenheit to 600 Fahrenheit. YIKES.
If you wish to use a space heater during this whether, you should only plug it in directly it to the wall, and keep an eye on it when it’s in use, meaning, unplug it before you go to bed or leave the house. From 2009 to 2013, heating equipment involved an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home fires which accounted for 156 percent to the total.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, out of those fires, 470 people died, 1,490 were injured and over $1 million in property damage was reported. Nearly half of all of the heating fires occur in December, January, and February, accounting for two of every five of home heating fires.
Some safety tips for running an electric space heater during cold winter months include:
- Place the heater in a dry location, moisture can potentially damage its components.
- Do not plug other devices into the same outlet as the heater since they tend to draw a lot of power.
- Never run an electric cord underneath a rug or carpet, they could catch on fire and keep at least three feet away from anything that can burn
- Unplug the heater after turning it off.
- When running your heater, don’t leave the room for a long period of time without turning it off.
- Turn space heaters off and unplug them when you go to bed or leave the room.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet and place them on a flat surface. Do not use an extension cord or power strip.
- Install smoke alarms and test them once a month.
This post was originally published on January 28, 2019.