Space Heater Power Strip Myth – Untold & Unshared

Space heaters are one of the essentials during winter. If you want to keep your feet warm, the easiest way that will come to your mind is a space heater. While considering space heaters, one thing to have bugged you out might be the space heater power strip myth.

The most common myth says that the power strip might burn up due to faulty wiring in space heaters. Using a space heater consumes a massive amount of energy that eventually leads to the rise of temperature in the power strip. And standard power strips are not qualified for handling huge amounts of electricity consumption. Thus, this leads to firing on the power strip.

For your safety, you must know that this idea is not totally a myth. There is some reality to it that you must know about through the ins and outs. 

Space Heater Power Strip Myth

What Is A Space Heater?

A space Heater is a must during the winter for some households or officials. There are two genera of space heaters.

  1. Gas space heater
  2. Electric space heater

An electric space heater is a high electricity-consuming device. In general, an electric space heater consumes 1500 watts or 1.5 kilowatts per hour. 

In the winter, an electric space heater is used for 8 hours on an average household. Depending on the models, the amount of electricity consumption can vary. Still, it will be more than a refrigerator and an air conditioner combined.

What Is A Power Strip?

A power strip is a wired multiple electrical outlet. When the electronic devices are far away from the original socket, a power strip can be used to connect the devices to the main power supply line. Not only that, but they also allow you to connect multiple devices simultaneously to the same power source.

Even though a power strip has multiple inputs, it’s not wise to use them all at a time. Sometimes power strips are used to divide the power supply. These are sometimes used to solve the short circuit problem.

Though some models claim to hold high voltage, these are short-term solutions. For the long term, you need to go for a solution like installing multiple power outlets.

Is It Safe To Use Space Heater Via Power Strip?

A space heater is an electric device that tends to consume a large amount of electricity to warm up your place. Using this massive amount of energy, the heater generates heat. 

There are heating elements in the heater. The temperature of these elements rises to 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Eventually, this heat can pass through the cord to the power strip. As cheap power strips are not usually that heat-compatible, they might catch fire.

Some brands of power strips advertise their products as being entirely resistant to heat and fire. Promoting this idea along with space heater usage is a complete bluff. You need to remember that fire experts worldwide forbid the use of power strips on a space heater.

Fire Due To Space Heater

Reports show that about 40 percent of the fire hazards caused worldwide during winter are due to the mismanagement of space heaters. 

Let’s see some statistics. According to a report of 2019, around 71000 fires are caused yearly in the USA. Among them, 30% are caused due to space heaters. According to the UK Fire Statistics, over 800 fires in commercial buildings are reported yearly.

These are statistics of just two countries. Over the globe, the number is tremendously high!

How To Use Power Strip With Space Heater Safely?

If using the power strip for a space heater is an absolute necessity, there are some points you should remember. These are only suggested when no other options are available, and it is impossible to find a direct power connection.

  • Try to use a brand new power strip. Old and weak ones will be more prone to catch fire.
  • While buying the power strip, make sure it has the “UL” or “CSA” logo.
  • Daisy chained power stripes are to be avoided at any cost.
  • The plug load must not be more than 12 amp.
  • If any sign of damage is seen while using the power strip, it must be replaced immediately.
  • Remember to keep any flammable material at least three feet away from the heater and power strip.
  • Make sure not to run the heater for more than 1 hour at a stretch.
  • Avoid leaving the space heater turned on during the night.
  • While connecting the space heater through a power strip, do not plug any other device into it.

These are some safety measures you must take while using power strips to generate a space heater. Try to provide a direct wall outlet connection as soon as possible to avoid any unwanted situation. 

Safest Ways To Use A Space Heater

Even when you are not using a space heater, it can cause a fire.  Statistics show that 70% of the time, the power strip is responsible for a space heater to cause a fire. But the rest 30% are for miscellaneous reasons. 

To be safe from fire, there is nothing else other than preventive measures. Some precautions are as follows:

  • Do not keep the space heater on while you are not at home.
  • Try to avoid using the space heater continuously at night.
  • Try not to use a space heater for a long time at a stretch.
  • Ensure all the flammable materials, like any other electronic devices, fiber materials, floor mats, etc., are kept at a minimum distance of 3 feet.
  • Before turning on the heater, make sure that the cord of the heater and the other outer wires are in proper condition.
  • Do not pass the chords of the heater through or under the rugs.
  • Make sure to keep your children and pets away from the heater.

These are some preventive measures you can follow while using a space heater. These measures are not very hard to execute but are lifesaving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you never plug into a power strip?

Some electronic devices are likely to cause hazards while plugged into a power strip. Some of them are:
1. Refrigerators
2. Electric ovens
3. Toasters
4. Coffee makers
5. Water heaters, etc.

Why shouldn’t you plug a heater into an extension cord?

Extension cords are highly temperature-sensitive. A space heater can produce an inner temperature of 600F. This temperature is not safe for an extension cord, and they might end up catching fire.

What’s the difference between a surge protector and a power strip?

A power strip works as a long-distance multi-plug device. In contrast, a surge protector is designed to withstand any sudden power surge and protect connected devices.

What happens if you leave a portable heater on?

If a portable space heater is turned on for a long time, it will produce more heat. And the more the inner heat of the heater, the more it tends to catch fire.

Can I plug an electric heater into a surge protector?

Though a surge protector is better than a power strip, it does not allow connecting an electric space heater. The best and the recommended connection for a space heater is a direct wall outlet.

Final Words

No matter how handy a space heater is, you should always abide by the safety measures. A moment of ignorance can end up causing life-risking damage.

You have to believe and remember that the space heater power strip myth is not just a myth. The statistics show that there is, in fact, some evidence behind it and bring out the facts to support this myth. Being aware of these facts can end up saving your life and your loved ones! 

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