Potential Dangers of Space Heaters - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Potential Dangers of Space Heaters

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Even though winter is behind us for the most part, the temperature is still low and keeping your home warm can sometimes prove challenging. Many of us trying to save a little money turn to space heaters instead of central air, but those pose a potential fire hazard.

A study from the National Fire Protection Association that came out today says that home heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires, and 85 percent of those fires are caused by space heaters.

"Space heaters are a big problem this time of year, people are trying to warm up and trying not to utilize their main heaters in their house right now, so they are trying to heat one room at a time," said Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District Fire Ryan Whitlock.

Some of the biggest issues with personal or space heaters are plugging it right into a wall.

Officials tell us that when you try to plug it into an extension cord, the wires are not meant for the electrical load, and can short circuit. Another good tip is to check old space heaters for wear on the cord, and if they don't have a safety switch that turns off the unit if it gets knocked over, it might be time to replace it. It’s also important to keep it away from children or pets.

“A good rule of thumb to remember is three feet, so keep any combustible materials, cardboard boxes, paper, whatever, at least 3 feet away from any heating appliance," said Carson City Fire Marshal Dave Ruben.

Fire officials also say that if you are using a chimney to make sure it is cleaned every year, and for those of you with central air, make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are in working order, in case of leaks.

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