Staying warm (and safe) with space heaters - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Staying warm (and safe) with space heaters

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Don't ignore safety rules when using space heaters. (KTEN) Don't ignore safety rules when using space heaters. (KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- Space heaters can provide welcome relief during the winter months, but they can also pose a safety hazard if not used correctly.

The National Fire Protection Association says space heaters are responsible for 25,000 fires every year. Denison firefighters say their records support those statistics.

"When the weather starts to cool down, a lot of people use space heaters to supplement for the heating inside their house, or unfortunately, those who don't have access to an adequate heating use a space heater," Denison Fire-Rescue Emergency Manager Morgan Metcalf said. "They can be safe -- certainly I would use one in my own home -- but there are some precautions that you should take."

He stressed that space heater owners must follow specific steps and precautions on the packaging, including:

  • ensure that nothing flammable is within three feet of a space heater
  • never leave a space heater unattended

"Always plug them in directly into the wall outlet -- never an extension cord or power strip, because it could short it out and start a fire," Metcalf added. "Never plug them in too close to drapes or combustible materials or too close to where your pet sleeps."

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