Space heater tips to stay warm and safe

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As conditions across the Black Hills have stayed below freezing over the last several days, people may be finding ways to stay warm.

Space heaters are good to use, but you must be very careful to avoid starting a fire. While newer space heaters are designed to turn off if it falls over, that doesn't mean that a fire could be avoided.

Rapid City firefighters have said that some fires recently have been started from space heaters. Some incidents of space heater fires have been when something falls on top of the heater and caught fire. Firefighters want to remind you that you should keep everything at least three feet away from the space heater. It is also important to not use a space heater when you're not home or asleep.

Fire and Light Safety Specialist Monica Colby said, "The coldest times are at night when we're sleeping, that's when we generally want them but use more blankets instead." Colby also added,"It's just so easy for that blanket to fall off on it over there for something to spill and you just don't know about it and those nighttime fires are what are so deadly."

Since space heaters use so much energy, always plug it directly into a power source and not into an extension cord.