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INDIANAPOLIS – If you’re using a space heater to stay warm, you’ll need to do a little bit more than just turn it on and curl up on the couch.

Before — and after — you turn on your space heater, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet.
  • Never plug the space heater into a power strip or extension cord.
  • Place the space heater on a flat, level area.
  • Keep the space heater at least three feet away from other objects. 
  • Make sure the space heater is not near curtains, bedding, furniture, or clothing.
  • Unplug the space heater before you leave the house or go to bed.
  • Keep the space heater away from children and pets.

Space heaters cause about 25,000 house fires and more than 200 deaths every year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Thinkstock.)