Fire prevention warning: Do not use power strips to plug in space heaters

Power strips cannot handle the current flow needed to power a space heater

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – With the cold weather brings the increased need for heating homes and businesses.

Thousands of people will use space heaters to provide heat, increasing the risk of fire.

It’s important to be vigilant when using space heaters, including keeping the unit clean from dirt and dust, and not placing them near flammable items such as drapes, bedding and furniture.

But, what many don’t know is that you should never plug a space heater into a power strip.

According to Lieutenant C.J. Bartone of the West Springfield Fire Department, power strips can overheat and catch fire as they are not designed to handle the high current flow needed.

“The electrical space heaters are going to use a tremendous amount of electricity,” Lt. Bartone told 22News. “So If you’re going to use them, plug them directly into an outlet.”

Lt. Bartone added that each winter brings a significant number of fires caused by space heaters.

One out of fifteen such fires result in the loss of life.