With the onset of colder weather, many residents turn to electric space heaters. Safety is a top consideration when using electric space heaters, a news release said.

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.

Scott Masterson, city of Zachary Inspection Department offered safety tips for buying and installing an electric space heater:

  • Check ampacity size. For example, plugging a heater rated for 20 amps into a 15-amp circuit wired with 14-gauge wire poses a distinct danger. On the other hand, plugging in a laptop computer (a mild electrical load) to a circuit rated for 20 amps poses no danger whatsoever.
  • The potential for danger is most pronounced with the use of light household extension cords. Many a household fire has occurred when a light extension cord is used to power a heater or heating appliance of some sort. Most manufacturers will discourage the use of any extension cords with portable heaters, but if one must be used, it has to be a heavy-duty cord with a high amperage rating. 

If you have any questions concerning this matter, contact the Inspections Office at (225) 654-6873.