Fire chief offers tips for safe space heater use

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LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Firefighters have a lot of concern with people using space heaters if they’re not used properly.

Eyewitness News spoke with a fire chief as businesses are seeing more people buy heaters to combat the cold.

There were some space heaters left at the Dalton Do It Center.

“A lot of different kinds. People are buying the small electric ones, just single room heaters. Maybe if your house doesn’t good heat throughout the whole thing maybe you’ll just get a small electric heater,” Dalton Do It Center co-owner Scott Lacoe said.

Lacoe says the supply is not keeping up with the demand.

“We all know the troubles we’re having with products sitting in the ports waiting to get unloaded. And yeah, the customers are starting…Now that it’s getting colder, they’re buying a lot more as well,” Lacoe said.

“These are, you know, supplemental heating supply sources not the main heating source that you should be using in your residence,” Scranton Fire Department Chief John Judge said.

Chief Judge says you should look at the warning label for recommendations on where and how to place the space heater

“Whether or not it can be placed on carpet, how far away from walls, how far away from furnishings,” Chief Judge said.

The warning label will tell you how it needs to be powered.

“One of the things we find is an issue a lot of times is people plug multiple ones into in an inadequate power strip which ends up overloading the circuit,” Chief Judge said.

If you plan to purchase a space heater, look for added security.

“A lot of these, they have safety features built right in. Tilt-over protection, things like that,” Lacoe said.

Chief Judge reminds people there are programs out there to help pay heating and electric bills this winter.

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