Firefighters Share Why You Should Never Plug Space Heaters Into Power Strips

With the cold weather having arrived in many parts of the country, one fire department is warning people about a winter safety risk that could put your family’s life in danger.

Space heaters are popular portable heating devices, but the Umatilla County Fire District in Oregon wants to remind everyone never to 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,” the department says in a Facebook post.

To reinforce their message, they shared a scary photo of a burnt power chord – the plastic melted from an overheated space heater.

Umatilla County Fire District in Oregon

The National Fire Protection Association warns that 32 percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters and of those, they are involved in 79 percent of home heating fire deaths.

Other fire prevention tips around space heaters involve:
– keep heaters at least three feet away from things that can burn (including furniture, clothing, bedding, mattress)
– keep space heaters clean and maintain them according to manufacturer’s instructions
– never leave it unattended, especially in homes with children and pets

– turn it off if you go to sleep or leave the room
– get one with an automatic shut off so if they are knocked over the turn off
– place it on a solid, flat surface
– regularly check the cords and plugs to see if they’re frayed, damaged, or worn out
– and as the fire department reminded everyone – plug it directly into outlets.

Share this important winter safety tip with your family and friends.