The temperatures are starting to drop, and if your home is a bit drafty, chances are there's a space heater making its seasonal return from the depths of the closet. Though before you plug it in, one fire department has an important reminder on how to safely operate the units.
"The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters," the fire department shared in a Facebook post. "We just wanted to remind you that you should NEVER plug a heater into a power strip. These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. Please share and stay safe this Winter season."
The post was accompanied by a photo of a power strip, post electrical fire, partially melted and burned:
Though they look similar, a power strip is not a surge protector, and doesn't have the built-in safeguards against power surges. Plus, according to Good Housekeeping, many space heaters have specific manufacturer's instructions, like only plugging them directly into a wall outlet.
"You should definitely not use an extension cord or power strip, which could easily overheat," says Rachel Rothman, Chief Technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "And you really shouldn't plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater for safety reasons."
Stay warm, but keep safe!