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West Virginia University Extension Service urges residents to put safety first when heating homes

WVU Today

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With frigid temperatures well below normal and not much relief in sight, many West Virginia residents are turning to additional heat sources to help their primary heater keep up with the arctic chill that has dominated early winter.

One of the most affordable and common alternatives are space heaters. While they can keep certain rooms warmer, they’re a bit of a double-edged sword according to West Virginia University Safety and Health Extension specialists.

Space heaters are one of the leading causes of home fires through the winter months, and according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly 25,000 residential fires occur due to misuse.

Consumers should be aware of a few key things before purchasing and using space heaters.

There are many different types of space heaters including room gas heaters, portable kerosene heaters (which are illegal in many states) and portable electric heaters. Regardless of the type of space heater, make sure that the heating element is not exposed.

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