Fire Department Is Warning The Public To Never Plug Heater Into An Extension Cord

We all want to stay warm in the winter and tend to overload our home with a plethora of heat sources during the winter months. It’s so to take advantage of all our extension cords and load up every socket with a plug! However, officials at the fire department are warning that doing this can be very dangerous, especially if you’re unaware of how to properly use your extension cord. Power strips and extension cords are long electrical cords that have multiple plugs. But, even though these cords might have a bunch of extra sockets, it still doesn’t mean that you should fill every one of those outlets.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International, also known as the ESFI, warns that extension cords should be used only as a temporary solution and are not meant to be used long-term. The reason for this is because these cords are known to rapidly deteriorate over time and thus cause a dangerous electric shock or even a fire. According to the Umatilla County Fire District #1, you should never ever plus a space heater into a power strip! “These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow, ” the fire district shared in a Facebook post.

The National Fire Protection Association has reported that 32 percent of home heating fires have involved space heaters. On top of that, 79 percent of fatal home heating fire have also involved space heaters. To help ensure you and your family is safe, here are some more important tips from ESFI about power strips and extension cords: Never overload your cords. Never cover your cord, as this will prevent heat from escaping and can cause a fire. Never run your cords through water or snow. Never run these cord through walls, doorways, ceilings, or cords. Check to see if your cord is for indoor or outdoor use. Make sure what you’re plugging in has a wattage rating that is compatible with the cord’s wattage rating. Never use a cord with a lower wattage rating. If your cord feels hot or damaged unplug it and don’t touch it. You can easily be burned or shocked. Never force a plug into an outlet that doesn’t fit Only use extension cords with polarized or three-prong plugs Only use extension cords that are approved by an independent testing lab. These include Underwriters Laboratories (UL), ETL-SEMKO (ETL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

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