SANTA MARIA, Calif. - A Santa Maria mobile home was damaged Wednesday morning when a space heater overloaded an outlet and the wall caught on fire.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department was able to contain the fire to the wall and prevent any injuries from occurring.
With cooler temperatures comes an increase of space heaters in homes and also a reminder to use them with care.
Fire officials say this was the second fire in four days related to space heaters and investigators urge people to follow these safety tips:
• Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label.
• Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, because they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
• Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
• Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.
• Electric heaters should be plugged directly into the wall outlet. If an extension cord is necessary, use the shortest possible heavy duty gauge cord. Always check and follow any manufacturer's instructions pertaining to the use of extension cords.
• Buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped over.
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