Space heaters can be an effective method of supplemental heat when the weather outside gets cold, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that space heaters can cause fires and lead to burns and, when using electrical heaters, may cause electrocution from faulty wiring.

When operating a space heater, it is important to follow some safety guidelines.

* Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from any drapery, bedding and flammable material.

* Turn off the heater when you leave the room.

* Keep the heater on a level surface that is hard and non-flammable.

* Don’t leave the space heater on all night while you are sleeping.

* Never use a portable propane space heater designed for camping outdoors inside a home.

* Make sure smoke alarms in a home have been tested and batteries have been replaced to protect yourself in the event of a space heater-related fire.

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