Temperatures have made quite the drop over the last 24 hours. As many start turning on the heat and pulling out the space heaters for the first time. It’s important to remember space heaters can be dangerous if not used properly.

According to energy.gov there are more than 25,000 portable heater related fires per year nationwide, of those 6,000 are seen by a hospital for burns injuries.

Temperatures in the Tennessee Valley are already about to dip into the 30s overnight.

Although some may not be ready to turn on their central heating, they may already be pulling out their portable space heaters.

“For a home use I would use an inferred cabinet heater or something like that because they tend to be a little easier on your electric bill,” said Isaiah McAfee, ACE Hardware store manager.  “For your office, a little desktop heater would be your best bet.”

The manager of ACE Hardware, Isaiah McAfee says safety is a priority.

“Some of them have a built-in cut off so if they ever get tipped over or knocked over or anything like that they cut themselves off but always be mindful of where it's at and what's in front of it,” said Isaiah McAfee.

McAfee say so far this year he hasn't sold many portable heaters. However, 100-gallon propane tanks are popular right now.

He says many people have propane heaters at home and some use them in their garage when they are working.

“When they burn they admit different gasses so it's just good to make sure they're well ventilated,” said Isaiah McAfee.

Space heaters that are “vent-free” are not recommended for use inside your home because they introduce chemicals like nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and they deplete air in the room.

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. Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.