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Do not plug space heaters into power strips, fire officials warn

Do not plug space heaters into power strips, fire officials warn (Photo: North Davis Fire District)

(KUTV) — The colder weather is here and so is the need to stay warm, but if you use a space heater, do not plug it into an extension cord or a power strip.

Doing so is a fire hazard, according to the fire authorities.

A space heater was blamed for causing a house fire with $80,000 in damage on Sunday, November 25 in Ogden.

Power strips and extension cords are not equipped to handle the extra current flow needed to power a space heater and can overheat and even catch fire.

Firefighters said heating elements in a space heater can get up to more than 500F to 600F. They are reminding residents that a space heater should only be plugged directly into the wall, and always keep an eye on it when it's in use.

From 2009 to 2013, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home fires — accounting for 16 percent of the total, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFP). In those fires, 470 people died, 1,490 were injured and $1 billion in property damage was reported.

"Nearly half of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February," the NFP said. "Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five of home heating fires."

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