Space Heater Safety

POCONO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- Inside Steele's True Value Hardware near Tannersville, boxes and boxes of space heaters can be found just as you walk in the door.

Workers started stocking the shelves last week.

"We have quite a few electric heaters and space heaters. We have a few different types, some infrared, ceramic, and tower heaters. A lot of people have been coming in looking for them because it's been getting colder at night," said manager Devesh Ramdeo.

But while these little devices can warm you up in a pinch, space heaters can also be dangerous if not used correctly.

Tomas Keane is a firefighter for Coolbaugh Township Volunteer Fire Department.

"The majority of fires are caused by electric space heaters. A few things you have to make sure when you get a space heater, make sure it's certified by an independent inspector and make sure there is an auto shut off and thermostat control. Keep it away at least three feet from anything that is combustible, including kids, pets, or whatever," said Keane.

Aside from keeping space heaters in a safe place, it's also important that you never plug one into an extension cord.

"Because of the wattage that is going through them, it's not safe. It's definitely not safe to have 1,500 watts running through an extension cord to the heaters," said Ramdeo.

Space heaters should also be kept on a flat surface, like hardwood or tile, and avoid placing one on a carpet.