By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A blast of arctic air is about to send South Florida into shiver mode this weekend.

While the temporary cold blast of winter weather is nice, it can also be dangerous if you’re using a space heater in your home or office to ward off the chill and it’s not being used properly.

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Officials say portable space heaters account for about a third of home heating fires and four out of five home heating fire deaths.

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  • If you’re using a space heater, make sure it’s not too close to things that can burn like upholstered furniture, clothing, a mattress, or bedding.
  • Never plug a space heater into an extension cord, always plug it directly into a wall outlet.
  • Remember to turn it off before leaving the room or going to bed. Keep it out of the reach of children and pets. Look for signs of malfunctions, especially on older models.
  • Make sure it has an automatic shutoff function.
  • Make sure you have working smoke detectors with fresh batteries. Change the battery twice a year.
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On average, fires caused by portable heaters cause 65 deaths and 150 injuries a year, according to the US Fire Administration. Team