While most people are quick to pull out the power strip when they need to plug more than two things up at a time, in some cases, they should not be used. As it gets colder it’s time to warn those who might be considering it (or doing it) that power strips and space heaters can be a dangerous combination.
Back in 2017 the Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Oregon posted a photograph to their Facebook page and within that stated that as the weather gets colder we should still not be plugging our space heaters into power strips. Because power strips are not designed to handle the high flowing current that comes from the space heater itself and that can cause them to overheat big time. From there these overheating power strips can become melted and in some cases literally catch on fire leaving you and your home at serious risk. Throughout the years you would be quite surprised at the number of homes lost as a result of this kind of thing.
According to The Electrical Safety Foundation International heating equipment, in general, is the second leading cause of fires in homes present in the United States. Over 60,000 fires are being connected to them year after year. While that might not sound like a lot to some, to others it is an enormous number. Not to mention the deaths, injuries, and so forth that stem from the whole issue in itself.
Space heaters can be quite important in homes where central heating or something else of the sort is unavailable or not installed but that doesn’t make them ‘foolproof.’ You should not leave space heaters unattended, never plug them into power strips or extension cords, and always make sure to inspect them before using them. As someone who relies on space heaters in the colder months to keep my family and I warm I always make sure to check for broken plugs, cracks, and other types of damages that could be present on the heaters themselves.
If you take the time to do a quick search you will see tons and tons of different instances in which power strips were forced to cause fires because someone used them with electric heaters. It’s just not worth the risk and should be avoided at all costs. If you value your life and the lives of those in your household, you will always make sure to plug electric heaters in the proper wall outlets.
Things like this just aren’t made to withstand the heat that an electric heater puts off and they tend to melt quite easily. You should also be aware that extension cords are not meant for extended use and forgoing the ground prong on your plug is never a good idea. While it might seem harmless, this kind of thing can do a lot of damage. When using things like electric heaters you should always follow the directions noted which typically warn against things like this. All of this having been said even if you’re not using a power strip or something of the sort, keep an eye on the outlet and the power cord to your electric heaters as issues can arise that you need to be aware of. If damage is happening, changes need to be made.
For more information on all of this please feel free to check out the video below it is full of information and tips for proper use when it comes to space heaters. While it might be a shortcut that you’re willing to take, the dangers need to be known. This kind of thing can end very badly and when it comes to our homes we should always be ‘better safe than sorry.’ Fires in most cases are preventable, and we should be doing all we can to prevent them.