Maybe the only thing that’s more heart-warming than a dog is a dog sitting in front of a space heater. And that can only mean one thing: it’s that time of year again! Brrrrrrrr! At least at the time of writing it is. Maybe you’re reading this in July. Or maybe you live in one of those places that never gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, in which case the rest of us hate you and you can stop reading this right now. But if you are one of the many of us who has to deal with the chilly, chilly months between November and March, a space heater can be the answer to your ice-cold prayers. Lots of people are under the misapprehension that space heaters are somehow dangerous. It’s true that they were a safety hazard in the past, but new models feature lots of safety features, and with some common sense they’re no more dangerous than a toaster. And when’s the last time you lost sleep over your toaster?

Aside from the obvious (don’t hang your clothes on the heater), here are 5 tips to make your space heater use as safe as possible.

#1 – Shop Around

Space heaters come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. The first thing you need to do is familiarize yourself with the many available types and features, especially safety features, of space heaters. This article at Slate.com has a good dissection of the market, with safety as one of its categories when judging the best heaters.

#2 – Buy Safe

Because safety’s important to you (it is, isn’t it), be smart and understand the safety features of your particular unit. This is one piece of hardware for which you’ll want to read the manual and fine print.

#3 – Be smart

Whether you’re using the heater in your home or office, never leave the heater on when you step out of the room for any length of time, and certainly never leave the heater on if you’re going to leave the house or office. If remembering to turn it off will be a problem for you, purchase a unit with a timer, or plug the unit into an electrical wall outlet timer. This will give you additional piece of mind so you aren’t wondering, “Did I leave the heater on?”

#4 – Plug in Directly

Never plug in a space heater into a power strip or extension cord. Space heaters use a lot of energy, and you run the risk of overheating.

#5 – Floor It

Unless the space heater is specifically designed for the desk, always place them on the floor and not on top of any other furniture. This helps prevent it from being tipped over, which can cause a fire.

And finally, if you’re looking for Las Vegas HVAC services, look no further.