Firefighters: Don't plug space heaters into power strips

Strips not designed to handle current flow

When it gets cold outside this winter, make sure not to plug your space heater into a power strip.

Fire officials warn that such setup is a fire hazard, CBS News reported.

"You should never plug a heater into a power strip," Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon, warned. "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."

A second warning came after a house fire was caused by a space heater, CBS said. The heater ignited a sofa, authorities said.

The flames erupted after the heater ignited a sofa. 

"If you are operating them make sure you're operating them in a safe manner," Sterling Rahe, public information officer with the Toledo Fire Department, told a CBS affiliate. "Make sure there's a space at least a minimum of three feet around that space heater."

Heating elements can get up to 500 to 600 degrees, firefighters said. It should always be plugged directly into the wall.

"A lot of these fires, kind of have a common theme," said Rahe. "Things were left unattended."


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