Safely using space heaters in the winter - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Safely using space heaters in the winter

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Recently two house fires were caused by space heaters malfunctioning. Now, those fires and the cold temperatures that are on the way have firefighters reminding residents about safety when it comes to these devices.

Local firefighters said  a lot of fires this time of year are caused by space heaters.

Jerry Mast, with the Quincy Fire Department, said you shouldn't use an extension cord with a space heater.

"It draws too many amps from the extension cord," explained Mast. "The extension cord overheats and then causes a fire. One of the biggest concerns with space heaters is to make sure you plug it directly into the wall outlet."

Mast said to find a space heater with overheat protection on it or one with an auto shut off if it were to tip over. That way it will shut itself off if it becomes too hot or gets knocked over by your kids or your pet.

Mast also said to keep at least 3 feet of space around the heater that way nothing near it can catch fire.

Will Whidbee, a manager at the Home Depot in Quincy, said they have a few options when it comes to space heaters. A few run off of kerosene but most you plug into an outlet whether it's a small portable heater or the electric fireplaces.

Whidbee said it's best to buy one now before it gets really cold.

"Sometimes it's last minute when the cold weather hits. That's when people come in to buy them." Whidbee stated. "It's probably better to come in before the weather gets cold so you have a better selection for what you need."

Whidbee said to be mindful of how big the room is that you'll be using the space heater in. He explained you'll only want to plug only one in per room in order to not overload a circuit.

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