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City of Zachary Offers Residential Safety Tips During Cold Weather

Posted by zachary on January 16, 2018

With the onset of colder weather, residents are seeking ways in which to economically heat their homes. Safety is a top consideration when using electric space heaters.  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 would like to offer the following safety tip when buying and installing an electric space heater: 

Be sure when using space heaters to check your 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, please feel free to contact the City of Zachary Inspections Office at 225 654-6873.