Space Heater Safety TipsPortable space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, if not used properly, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards. For your safety, here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it's cold outside:
- Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and carries the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label. These heaters have the most up-to-date safety features.
- Only use a space heater that shuts off automatically if tipped over.
- Select a space heater with a guard around the flame area or the heating element. This will help keep children, pets, and clothing away from the heat source.
- Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Also, do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Proper placement of the space heater is critical. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture, including anything that can burn, for example papers, clothing, rugs, etc.
- Place the space heater on a level flat surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Never leave the heater operating while unattended or while sleeping.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas. Test them once a month!
Signs Of Identity TheftStay on guard! Everyone is a potential victim of identity theft. Millions of Americans a year have their personal information compromised, but you can lower your chances of being easy prey if you know what indicators signal danger. Look out for these red flags:
- You find errors on your bank or credit card statements that you can't explain. Or, receiving statements for unknown credit card accounts.
- Errors or misinformation on your credit report (unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report).
- Your financial institution notifies you about irregularity on your account. Or, your account has been flagged.
- You have debt collectors call about debts that aren't yours.
- Missing mail. You aren't receiving your bills or other mail. Also, if you don't receive your email statements, someone may have conquered your online account.
- You receive unexpected bills in the mail for goods or services you didn't purchase.
- If you have good credit but are denied an application based on your credit.
- The IRS notifies you that more than one tax return was filed in your name, or that you have income from an employer you don't work for.
If you discover that someone is misusing your personal information, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/ to report and recover from identity theft.