Midday Fix: Electric space heater safety tips

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Christmas Decorations:

Check for damaged wires, cracked sockets, or burned out bulbs. Discard broken or faulty lights.

Make sure that electrical cords are in good condition. Inspect for damaged wires and cracked insulation. Discard damaged cords.

Separate and label indoor and outdoor decorations.

Store decorations in a dry location that is safely out of reach of children and pets.

Send warranty and product registration forms for new decorations to manufacturers in order to be notified about product recalls.

Space Heaters:

Use space heaters properly and safely. Keep them out of high-traffic areas and at least 3 feet from anything that can burn.

Check to make sure the heater bears the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL).

Do not use space heaters in wet or damp areas unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate that they are intended to be used in wet locations such as bathrooms.

Do not leave a space heater running unattended. Turn space heaters off and unplug them when you leave the room or go to sleep.

Do not use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, causing burns or shock.

Portable heaters have hot parts that can cause sparking. Do not use them in areas where flammable liquids such as gasoline or kerosene are used or stored.

Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. Don’t use them to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord.

Make certain the circuit into which you plug a space heater can adequately and safely handle the added demand.

Unplug and safely store portable space heaters when not in use.

For more safety tips:


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