January 7, 2010 at 2:13 AM CST - Updated June 19 at 2:25 PM
The following are safety tips for space heaters. West Texas and Southeast New Mexico has already seen several house fires started by space heaters this season. In Hobbs, a 10-year-old girl was badly burned after a space heater caught fire in her family's trailer.
Give space heaters their space. Space heaters pose a higher risk of fire and death than central heating systems. Keep the space heater at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including walls.
Unplug the heater every time you leave the room and when you go to bed.
Plug electric-powered space heaters into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord.
Make sure the plug fits snugly in the outlet, since a loose plug can overheat. If you're using the space heater in the bathroom, be sure to use a ground-fault circuit interrupter. Remember, electricity and water do not mix.
Don't hide the cord under a rug or carpet. This can cause the cord to overheat and start a fire.
Keep it stable. Don't put your space heater on plush carpet or other surfaces where the space heater may tip over easily.
Check the tag. Make sure an independent testing laboratory has approved your new space heater