With cold weather expected to hit Central Florida this weekend, OUC realizes there are a number of adjustments you can make to ensure your home stays warm, while also cutting down on heating costs. For many families, this may include the use of space heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in U.S. homes.

Before you plug in, be sure to follow these safety tips:

  1. Follow the three-foot rule. Keep space heaters at least three feet away from bedding, drapery, rugs, and anything that can burn.
  2. Don’t leave heaters unsupervised. Always turn off and unplug space heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  3. Never use extension cords. Plug your space heater directly into the wall outlet; extension cords or surge protectors can overheat and cause an electrical fire.
  4. One plug for one outlet. Avoid plugging additional electrical devices into the outlet to prevent overheating.
  5. Don’t put cords underneath rugs. Although this normally helps to prevent tripping, placing cords under rugs can lead to wear and tear, and could cause the cord to short out.
  6. Keep on level, flat surfaces. Never place space heaters on tables, furniture, carpet, or rugs; these items can overheat and start a fire.
  7. Inspect before use. Before each use, inspect your heater for loose connections and cracked or broken plugs. Do NOT use if cords are frayed, worn or damaged.

OUC is here to help you weather Florida’s winter with safety and saving tips. Click here for our Cold Weather Guide.