Now that winter is getting cold in many parts of the United States, people are getting out of their space heaters to keep warm.
But there is one thing you should watch out for when you use a space heater.
When using a space heater, the local fire department has issued a dire warning: Never plug a space heater into a power strip unless you want to risk a house fire.
A fire department in Oregon says that plugging your space heater into a power strip is too dangerous.
And by plugging it straight into the wall, you can lower the chance it will start a fire.
People are pulling out their space heaters because the weather is getting colder.
Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon, warned on Facebook that you should never plug a heater into a power strip.
“These units were not made to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater. The extra energy flow can cause them to overheat or even catch fire.”
Even though the warning is straightforward, it could save lives. If you want to use a space heater this winter, you would be doing your family and home a favour if you never plugged it into a power strip.
Concerned people told each other thousands of times about the warning from the fire department.
People said how helpful they found the information.
“I had a house catch fire many years ago,” said one Facebook user. “I’m glad I got up.”
“I had no idea,” said someone else.
Shortly after the warning from Oregon came out, the Toledo Fire Department in Ohio also put out a fire caused by a space heater at 3 am and then issued a warning. The sofa in the house caught fire when the heater was turned on.
Sterling Rahe, a public information officer for the Toledo Fire Department, told CBS affiliate WTOL, “If you use them, make sure you do so in a safe way.” “Make sure there are at least three feet of space around that heater.”
Space heaters get very hot. Their temperatures can reach 500 or even 600 degrees.
Rahe said, “There seems to be a theme to many of these fires.” “No one looked after the things.”
Even safer, plug space heaters straight into the wall.
The National Fire Protection Association says that heating equipment was involved in about 56,000 home fires in the four years starting in 2009. (NFP).
There were 470 deaths and 1,490 injuries because of these fires.
About $1 billion worth of damage was done.
The NFP said that almost half of all home heating fires happened in December, January, and February.
“Two out of every five home heating fires were caused by space heaters, whether they were portable or fixed.”
Be careful if you use a space heater this winter. Plug it straight into the wall, and don’t put anything around it.