YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – With temperatures projected to reach below zero Friday night, a lot of people are probably planning to crank up the heat. But if you’re planning to use a space heater, there are some precautions you should take.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are close to 50,000 house fires caused by heating equipment every year. More than 80 percent are from space heaters.
“Don’t ever leave them unattended. Make sure they are plugged into the wall outlet directly,” said Youngstown Fire Captain David Cook.
We’ve all heard to never plug your space heater into an extension cord, but why?
“Extension cords aren’t normally rated to cover space heaters… They draw a large amount of electricity. You could overheat the extension cord which could cause a fire,” Capt. Cook said.
Also, clear the area around the heater at least two to three feet.
“Make sure you have a safety barrier around them where nothing is around them because they can get up to 600 degrees to touch,” Capt. Cook said.
Capt. Cook says not to go to sleep with the heater on, even if it has an automatic shut-off.
“Technology sometimes fails. Do you want to risk your life to failing technology? I don’t,” he said.
Lastly, don’t heat your home with an oven.
“Your oven is not meant to heat a large area. They’re not vented properly. So if you’re leaving your oven open or what some people call ‘leaving the eye on the stove,’ one of the burners burning, the venting process isn’t there so carbon monoxide becomes an issue then,” Capt. Cook said.