HERMISTON, Oregon (CBS NEWS) – As soon as the temperature drops, you may feel the need to crank up the heat.
But before you plug in that dusty old space heater this winter, you’ll want to follow this safety tip: don’t use extension cords and power strips.
“You should never plug a heater into a power strip,” Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Hermiston, Oregon, warned on Facebook Monday, posting a photo of a fried multi-outlet to prove their point. “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 post went viral with more than 17,000 shares. Hundreds of people commented, some even sharing their own horror stories about space heaters.
“I had a household one catch on fire years ago,” one Facebook user said. “Good thing I woke up.”
“I never knew this,” another commented.
The Toledo Fire Department in Ohio also issued a warning Wednesday after battling a house fire caused by a space heater at 3 a.m. on Tuesday. The flames erupted after the heater ignited a sofa.