Here in the great State of Maine as we head in to week whatever of sub-zero temperatures many of us turn to space heaters to supplement our furnaces. That of course is a very good idea. However, the National Fire Protection Agency tells us that using an extension cord with it is a VERY BAD idea.

If fact the NFPA has several rules of safety that you should consider when using a electric space heater.

  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

In fact there are rules like this for any type of supplemental heat source, see the complete list here. These are all important to know because the NFPA  says that %79 of fatal home fire involve some sort of space heater. And to prove you don't have to be stupid to fall victim to forgetting here is a Facebook post from a Fire Department in Oregon. Who in retrospect remind us that power cords and power strips are not manufactured to handle that strong of a current even if the space heater is the only thing plugged in.