Tips to use your space heater safely - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tips to use your space heater safely

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As temperatures dip below average this week, you may use space heaters to help keep your homes warm. But before you turn them on, the Palm Beach County Fire Department wants you to stay safe.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment, including space heaters, caused an estimated 56,000 fires in the United States from 2009 to 2013.

Here are some tips the association and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue want to remind you of before you reach for a space heater:

  • Keep anything that can burn three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Purchase a heater that has been tested by a qualified agency like Underwriters Laboratory.
  • Place the heater on a flat, solid surface.
  • Choose a heater that automatically turns off should it tip over.
  • Keep heaters out of doorways, don’t block exits with the heater.
  • Do not use an extension cord, plug your heater directly into an outlet.
  • Turn off and unplug your space heater when you go to bed, or leave the room it’s in.

If you use central heating to keep your home warm, don’t be alarmed if it smells like it’s burning the first time you turn it on for the season. Experts said more often than not that smell is caused by dust on the system and should only last 10 minutes.  

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