Pending frigid temperatures spark concern over space heaters

Local News

Ahead of next week's frigid temperatures, experts are warning about how to use your heater safely

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – It’s that time of year again when many of us break out our space heaters for the season.

Ahead of next week’s frigid temperatures, experts are warning about how to use your heater safely.

The Youngstown Fire Department says it’s important to keep your heater at least three feet from other objects like curtains or furniture. They also remind us that space heaters should always be plugged directly into the outlet. Extension cords create more risk of fire.

“Keep it away from water. Never want to have your space heater too close,” said Battalion Chief Charlie Smith. “When you’re not using it, turn it off and unplug it from the outlet.”

Other tips provided from the American Red Cross include:

  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor
  • Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes
  • Keep away from children and pets
  • Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets — never into an extension cord
  • Turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended
  • Use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace
  • Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces and chimneys inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary
  • You can also help your family stay safe by testing your smoke alarms monthly and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in two minutes or less.

For free home fire safety resources, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency app.

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