Using a space heater can make bitterly cold days more bearable, but firefighters urge you to be cautious.
“Oh it’s great because you plug it in or you turn it on and your room is magically heated,” says Marrs Township Fire Department firefighter and EMT, Lieutenant Kane Schmitt.
These compact heater can be great to have in the winter, but the safety risks can be shocking.
“A lot of people are surprised as to the dangers that come along with space heaters,” says Lt. Schmitt.
Winter weather whiplash can bring on more fires crews need to battle. In fact, 85% of fires in the cooler months are caused by space heaters.
“And fires are caused due to the fact that they don’t follow the three-foot recommendation,” says Lt. Schmitt. In other words, nothing should be within three feet of your space heater- since most of your belongings can catch fire.
“Anything that keeps you comfy in the winter, most likely it burns,” says Lt. Schmitt.
Firefighters recommend to only use your space heater when you are nearby and never plug it into an extension cord. Also, turn off your heater when you are sleeping or running errands since it only takes a matter of minutes for a blazing fire to erupt.
“With the national average of a billion dollars in heating element fires created over the last three or four years, it significant,” says Lt. Schmitt.