As most of the northern hemisphere moves into its coldest months of the year, heating systems are being turned on and in many cases space heaters are being pulled out of storage. According to firefighters, these are items that you should never plug into a power strip.

Space heaters are commonly used around the world when the weather gets cold. After all, we all just want to be cozy and warm when icy winds are blowing outside. In light of the upcoming space heater season, Oregon firefighters put out a very important post regarding their safety. (1)

Their number one tip? Never plug your space heater into a power strip. (1)

“You should never plug a heater into a power strip,” Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon, warned on Facebook. “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.” (1)

As it turns out, thousands of people are unaware of how dangerous it is to plug a space heater into a power cord and the post quickly went viral. (1)

A Fire Starter: Plugging Into a Powerstrip
The Oregon fire department isn’t the only one sharing space heater safety tips. The Toledo Fire Department in Ohio also issued a similar statement after a house caught fire due to the misuse of a space heater. The heater caused the couch to catch fire and quickly the entire house was up in flames. (2)

Space heaters can reach up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is crucial that everyone who uses them does so safely. (2) Their tips include (2):

Never plug into a power strip, instead always directly into a wall unit
Keep a minimum of three feet of space around the space heater at all times
Always keep an eye on your space heater while it is in use, never turn it on while sleeping or in a different room
Place heaters on level, flat surfaces
Never put heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that portable electric space heaters cause 1,200 fires a year. (3) The Oregon firefighters’ post explained that if people are smart and safe, there is nothing wrong with using a space heater. It’s recklessness that becomes an issue. (2)

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