Extension cords are super helpful to have around when you have something that can’t reach the wall socket. In any case, you need to be careful when connecting to many things at once. Indeed, this winter fire divisions across the country are cautioning people about the hidden threats of electrical cords.

Electrical cords and power strips are words that are frequently utilized interchangeably to depict a long electrical cord with multiple plugs, however many people don’t understand they are not really an indistinguishable thing from a surge protectors. Surge protectors will automatically cut off the power when it gets overloaded.

Power strips may have multiple sockets, yet that doesn’t mean it can really deal with all that you put in it. There’s a limit to how much power those things can take! If you connect the wrong thing to a power strip, that one error can turn expensive – or even worse, it might take a life.

When it gets too cold outside, the first thing people do is turn up the heat. However, in the event that you don’t have a chimney or central heating, the best thing to get warm is a space heater. It’s smaller, versatile, and warms up a little room in seconds.

So are the extension cords. Regardless of whether a space heater is the only thing connected to the power strip, it can wind up making your home temperature much hotter than you expected.

The Umatilla County Fire District #1 in Oregon issued warning on Facebook about the results of combining power strips and space heaters:

Even fire fighters can forget how to safely use power strips. The same fire division that posted the PSA uploaded the beneath photograph from their own fire station. They caution that even the best equipement can fail if it’s misused!

Rachel Rothman, the chief technologist at the Good Housekeeping Institute said:

As indicated by the National Safety Fire Administration, half of all warming home fires happen amid December, January, and February. What’s more, from 2009 to 2013, warming gear represented 56,000 home fires.

So, if you’re considering getting a space heater this winter, ensure it’s been very well tested by a different lab than the one that creates them. If you don’t see any rating on the container, skip it.

Keep in mind that you also need to check your smoke detector and make sure it is working, and routinely check your space heater’s strings to ensure it’s not frayed or damaged. Along these lines, you’ll be both, warm and safe this winter.