MARTINSVILLE (WSLS 10) - With the weather getting colder, fire departments are reminding people about space heater safety.
The Martinsville Fire Department emphasizes that space heaters should not be plugged into extension cords or surge protectors.
Chief Ted Anderson said one of the biggest problems is that people assume a surge protector is fail-safe, but without an actual surge, the surge protector won't activate.
"If you're gradually adding more load, more amperage, onto that surge protector, it may not trip and it may heat up to the point where resistance heating actually causes a fire. We've seen that as well," Anderson explained.
He also emphasized that space heaters should not be used as a primary source of heat and space heaters should not be placed near something that could easily catch on fire like blankets or furniture.