Ready for a ‘not-so-fun fact’? Space heaters are the second leading cause of deadly home fires. It’s a shocking truth, considering so many of us rely on these convenient little appliances to add some much-needed heat to our homes and offices during the winter months.
In a bombshell report by Kansas City news station KHSB, we learned that when space heaters are misused, they can quickly become a firefighter’s worst nightmare. Tricia Roberts with the Overland Park Fire Department gives us some real-life insight on her experience with these risky appliances.
“When we see electrical fires [caused by space heaters], often times it’s the ‘weakest link’ in that whole electrical chain,” Roberts says. “It usually is an extension cord.”
This is because virtually all power strips or extension cords are not rated to handle appliances that produce so much wattage, which means that when the user doesn’t pay attention to both the cord and the heater’s rating, a disastrous situation can ensue.
Now, we’re not saying that you should throw your beloved space heater into the trash—we just want to make sure that you are following each and every one of these guidelines before you plug yours in the next time:
• Never leave your space heater unattended
• Don’t sleep while a space heater is running
• If you do decide to plug in a space heater, do not power it with an extension cord
• Keep the heater at least three feet away from all furniture, blankets, clothing items, curtains, or other flammable materials.
Safe (and cheap!) ways to keep your home warm on next page