Bitter Temperatures Bring Out More Space Heaters

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COLUMBIA - With temperatures in the single digits, more people are turning to additional sources of heat for their homes. Space heaters are an easy fix but can become a fire hazard.

Space heaters at Lowe's in Columbia are flying off the shelves.  Employees continue to restock the shelves as more cold snaps continue to roll through the Midwest.

Columbia Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Terry Cassil said the cold weather is hard on heating systems during this time of year.

"Everyone's heating units, no matter if they're space heaters or just regular furnaces, they're working overtime," Cassil said. "The harder they're working, the more chances we have for malfuntions."

Cassil recommended there be nothing within three feet of a space heater.  He said some space heaters come with a safety feature that shuts the heater off if it is knocked over or becomes too close to another object.

Cassil also pointed out that the winter season is still in the beginning stage.

"We're still early in the season," Cassil said. "We've still got two months of winter left so we really want people to keep a close eye on space heaters to make sure everyone is safe."

Columbia residents Kellie and David Moore have two space heaters in their home.  They keep the heating bill down by leaving the thermostat at 65 degrees and using the space heaters in whichever room they are in.

The Moores feel safe using the space heaters and think they are an efficient addition to their home.

"It's been really nice having them because they're a way to more efficiently heat our home and really save a little bit of extra money here and there," Kellie Moore said.

Other options to keep cold air out and warm air in include adding new or extra insulation, using door stoppers and lining windows with insulation.