Staying warm safely

Published 7:08 pm Monday, November 20, 2017

As the temperatures become cooler, residents start switching on the heat and bringing out the space heaters to take the edge off of those sub-freezing evenings.

Space heaters are a good invention, but they can soon turn dangerous if not used properly. Last week, news outlets reported a fatal fire caused by a space heater in Jones County — authorities believe the incorrect fuel was used in the heater.

Jones County is only one or two hours away from Beaufort County, and a tragedy similar to the one last week could happen here.

Residents should take every precaution when using space heaters this season because all it takes is one simple mishap, and a home could go up in flames.

Sylvane Knowledge Center offers several tips to better inform those using space heaters this season:

  • Find a heater that best fits the space, whether it’s a small office or an entire room.
  • Select a heater with overheating and/or tip-over protection, which will automatically switch off the heater under either of those circumstances.
  • Look for heaters that are tested and certified to meet certain safety standards.
  • Place the heater at least 3 feet away from other combustible objects, including furniture, rugs, bedding, clothing, etc.
  • Plug the heater directly into an outlet. Avoid using extension cords.
  • Clean and maintain the heater frequently to keep it working in tip-top shape.
  • Turn off and/or unplug the heater when it is not in use.
  • Keep the heater away from water and damp spaces, such as a bathroom.

It’s also important to do some research before purchasing a space heater to ensure purchasing the best product for a particular budget. It’s also helpful to talk with one of the sales associates at the store before choosing a heater.

The holiday season should be one of fun and joy, and eliminating any risks associated with space heaters will help keep it that way.