Fire crews share how to use space heaters safely this winter

Salem Fire Department: Don't plug space heaters into power strips

SALEM, Va. – As winter fast approaches and temperatures begin to drop, many are getting out their space heaters to stay warm.

The Salem Fire Department wants to remind everything the importance of using them safely.

While space heaters are fairly easy to use, they can also be dangerous, especially if they're plugged into a power strip.

Fire crews say this is something you should never do, as power strips are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater.

The unit could overheat or even catch fire.

“About two-thirds of our fires occur during the winter months when you're actually using heating sources. So be more cognizant about these, and be safe with them. Buy one with a tip over the protector, and plug it directly into the wall,” C.J. Schaffer, a firefighter with the Salem Fire Department, said.

Schaffer also reminds everyone to keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from any kind of heating equipment.