In Southwest Louisiana, it's beginning to look like mother nature got into the liquor cabinet. One day, it's 78 degrees and the next day it's 44 degrees. If your home is not equipped with a central heating system you may have a space heater. I know, I grew up with space heaters at my grandmother's, along with electric blankets. We have all heard stories on electric blankets causing fires in homes but did you know that plugging your space heater into a power strip can also be a fire hazard?

Firefighters are reminding us that you should never plug a heater into a power strip. These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. The National Fire Protection Association also warns against plugging space heaters into extension cords.

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Half of all home heating fires occur in December, January and, for us sometimes, February. Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, can account for two of every five house fires. Heating elements in a space heater can get up to more than 500-600F. Power strips are not designed to handle that much power.

Make sure you have at least a minimum of three feet around your space heater, and you should only plug your space heater directly into the wall. It's important to always keep an eye on it. Best advice is to be safe, smart, and share this information with your loved ones.

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