It’s starting to get frosty out there, and many people are dusting off their space heaters in an attempt to remain warm this winter. But if you’re using a power strip to get the space heater somewhere hard to reach, you’re probably going to want to rethink it.
An Oregon fire department is warning residents about a scary winter safety risk that can put their families in danger.
The Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon, posted a scary image to their Facebook page back in 2017, along with a warning for readers.
“The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters,” they warned. “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.”
They went on to explain: “This is an image from our fire station when a surge protector was misused. Even the firefighters need a lesson. The point comes down to proper use. Even the best equipment can fail if not used correctly. No one manufacture is at fault, yet it’s all about the end users ability to use the product safely.”
The post went viral, with thousands admitting they were unaware of the fire hazards this practice can bring.
As it turns out, the Oregon fire department isn’t the only one sharing power strip 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 couch caught fire from the heater, and the flames quickly spread throughout the house.
Keep in mind that you should never overload your power strips because that is when they cause fires. According to the fire department, space heaters can reach up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so it’s essential for everyone who uses them to do it safely.
Some space heater safety tips from the fire department include:
- Instead of plugging a space heater into a power strip, always plug them directly into a wall unit.
- When using space heaters, ensure you’re always in the room, keeping an eye on it. You should never leave it unattended while working.
- Place heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place them on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, as they can overheat and start a fire.
- Keep space heaters three feet away from anything that can burn.
Always remember appliances always come with a manual that includes a fire safety section and is not just there for optimal use. They are there to keep you safe.