Space heater safety

Posted at 4:51 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-27 16:51:23-05

With temperatures dropping many in South Florida will be turning up the heat.

If you have a space heater, you should be especially careful.

RELATED: More Weather | Radar | Alerts | Hourly Forecast | Download WPTV app 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths, according to a statement posted on the Department of Energy website.

"Use the most modern one you can get your hands on that meets the current UL criteria. Older models don't have the same safety features that newer models have," St. Lucie County Fire District Chief Nate Spera said.

Firefighters suggest that if you are going to use a space heater, put it on a flat, solid surface and keep it at least three feet away from anything that can bun. Don't place it in a doorway and turn it off and unplug it when you go to bed.

If you turn your central heat on, experts say it might smell like something is burning the first time you use it. They say it most likely is caused by dust in the system and should go away after ten minutes or so.