COLUMBUS, Kan. — Fire departments are encouraging safe practice with space heaters as we still have some colder nights ahead of us.
It’s recommended to keep the unit out of the way of travel corridors like hallways and exit areas, along with placing it on a solid, non-carpeted surface.
If carpet is the only flooring inside your home, find something to put over the carpet that doesn’t transduce heat back into the heater.
The unit should also be in an area that is not easily accessible to children and pets.
Also, if you don’t need it running, go ahead and turn it off.
Steven Burton, Fire Chief – Columbus Fire Dept., says, “Don’t plug those things into extension cords or six-way outlets or anything like that. Make sure they’re plugged directly into your wall because a lot of times when you see the electrical components fail, it’s usually in the six-way adapters or the smaller extension cords. That’s a lot of times when they melt or overheat.”
Burton says when you’re looking to buy a heater, it’s recommended to look for a qualified seal on the box, meaning its been tested in a laboratory.
Heaters with an auto shut-off function when accidentally tipped on its side are also strongly suggested for purchase.