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Is It Safe to Leave a Space Heater Plugged In Overnight?

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“Can you use a space heater while sleeping?” You’ve probably asked yourself this question at least once this winter. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to go to sleep when you’re freezing cold and no number of layers will keep you warm. Unfortunately, it’s dangerous to leave a space heater running overnight, and the reasons why go beyond just fires.

Space heaters are popular not only because they warm your frosty fingers and toes, but also because they can help you save money on your utility bills. However, these room warmers are a big fire hazard, especially if you don’t follow proper safety rules. Space heaters should never be plugged into power strips — only wall sockets — because power strips may not be equipped to deal with the high current flow a space heater requires, thus causing the strip to melt or even catch fire. 

It’s a good idea to buy a space heater with an auto-shutoff function to protect it from overheating, but this function still doesn’t give you the OK to leave your space heater plugged in while you’re sleeping. Faulty wiring and old, worn out breakers and fuses can cause a fire within your walls, and chances are you won’t notice it while you’re sleeping until it’s too late. 

Another reason you’re better off unplugging your space heater while you sleep is because certain models release carbon monoxide. This gas is colorless and odorless, so it’s possible you can wind up with carbon monoxide poisoning without ever realizing it — especially if you’re off in dreamland.

Your best bet for staying warm during the winter is to layer up; that means long johns and thermals under your pajamas if necessary and thick wool socks. Then, invest in a high-quality winter blanket. Cashmere, cotton, or wool are ideal materials because they retain heat well. (With all the money you save on heating using a space heater, you’ll have plenty left over to splurge!) If that doesn’t do the trick, you may wanna curl up with your fur babies for extra warmth.

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