stars-storyMEIGS COUNTY – With temperatures so bitterly cold, many homes are being heated with supplemental heat sources. American Electric Power has several safety tips for anyone using space heaters. AEP urges customers to keep safety in mind when using space heaters.

Safety tips for using space heaters include:

– Give space heaters plenty of space. 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 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 (Underwriters Laboratories) has approved your new space heater.

– Space heaters should be on timers when you’re at home.