Heating your home in the winter months shouldn’t be dangerous. But accidents with space heaters can cause disaster. Avoid becoming another grim statistic with these precautions:
- Buy a reliable heater. Look for the label stating that your space heater has been approved by an independent testing laboratory and meets safety standards. Choose models with safety features like an automatic switch that turns off the heater if it tips over.
- Give it plenty of space. Place your space heater at least three feet away from anything that might catch fire—furniture, draperies, newspapers, etc. Also keep it clear of sinks, tubs, or any other sources of water that might lead to an electric shock.
- Check your cords. Don’t use equipment with cords that are frayed or damaged in any way, and don’t plug your heater into an extension cord. Be sure not to overload your circuits.
- Maintain your smoke detectors. Your house or apartment should have working detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide. Test them thoroughly and frequently.
- Don’t leave your heater unattended. Turn it off when you go out.
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