Posted: Oct 18, 2011 5:45 PM by Rachel Frost
Updated: Oct 18, 2011 5:58 PM
BATON ROUGE - As the weather cools down, firefighters are reminding people to make sure they stay safe if they turn on portable space heaters.
Space heaters cause more than 2,500 house fires a year across the U. S., according to the U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The State Fire Marshal's Office recommends keeping any electrical cords from a space heater exposed rather than hidden under a rug or carpet.
Also, make sure you don't overload your outlets with other electrical appliances and keep space heaters away from combustible materials like bedding and curtains.
"The newer heating units have tip switches that will automatically turn off in the event that it gets tipped over. You want to make sure you keep anything that could burn at least three feet away from any surface of the heating unit," Dan Wallis with the State Fire Marshal's Office said.
Experts recommend using space heaters that are tested by the Underwriters Laboratory.