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Pat Sullivan on space heater safety

Sullivan addressed the safest way to deploy space heaters to help even out heat where you feel cold drafts in your home.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana's Christmas winter storm probably exposed some cold spots in your house.

Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden addressed the safest way to deploy space heaters to help even out the heat where you feel those drafts.

First, if you use a space heater, Sullivan recommends you plug it directly into the wall instead of using an extension cord. Try to isolate the heater as the only thing you plug into a particular outlet. 

The more items put on a load of a single electrical circuit in your home will eventually cause the circuit breaker to kick off or "blow." The solution is not to swap out a 15 amp breaker for a 20 amp breaker. 

"By doing that, you're allowing more electricity in a wire that's only designed for 15 amps," Sullivan explained.

Using outdoor extension cords that are "thicker" is also a false solution to supply more electricity to a space heater. While holding a thin "indoor" cord and thicker "outdoor" cord side-by-side, Sullivan explained that both are made of the same 16-gauge wire. The outdoor cord just has more insulation around the wire.

So if you use a space heater, make sure to plug it into a dedicated circuit and keep it off carpet and away from anything flammable like curtains and drapes.

Make sure you turn it off when you leave the room and don't leave it running all night.

If you want to try other safer solutions for cold spots, Sullivan suggests closing your fireplace flue so it doesn't draw warm air out of your house. Around doors, replace weather-stripping or lay a rolled-up towel against the bottom of an exterior door to keep cold air out.

Watch Sullivan's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.

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