(WHTM) — With cooler weather arriving, many people will start to pull out their space heaters and use them to stay warm when the fall chill is around.

But what you may not realize is that these items can be extremely dangerous; not just because they can get hot, but where you plug them in. Plugging a space heater into either an extension cord or a power strip.

The reason behind this is that the power strip cannot support the current flow that goes into the space heater. This can cause the entire strip or cord to overheat and cause a subsequent fire.

Besides space heaters, here are a few more items that you should plug directly into the walls and not into power strips or extension cords.

Refrigerators and Freezers

Because these items cycle on and off, they can put plenty of strain on the power strip or extension cord.


Because microwaves can emit so much power, they can easily damage the power strip that they are plugged into, and can easily start a fire. These items can be plugged into a GFCI outlet or a ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet. These are outlets designed to shut off instantly if the circuit is overloaded.

Slow cooker

These items are on for extended periods of time as they slowly cook your food (hence the name). Make sure to never use them in a power strip or extension cord, due to them pulling power over a long length of time.

Portable Air Conditioner

As with the space heater, you should never plug in portable air conditioners. They pull too much power that a power strip can overheat and start a fire.

Hair appliances

These items, such as a curling or flat iron, produce an immense amount of heat in a small area and require plenty of amperage. Fix My Home states that these should plugged into an outlet, preferably a GFCI outlet.

Washing machine

These machines produce plenty of energy, up to 1,400 watts in some cases. They are also left unattended as they wash your clothes for a good amount of time, which can cause them to overheat a power strip. Always plug these machines into a wall.

Sump Pump

This is because water and electricity do not mix, and power strips really do not like dampness. Again, these should be plugged into a GFCI outlet. If one is not around, plug a sump pump into an outlet on the second floor if possible.

Second Power Strip

Connecting a power strip to another power strip can easily overload both strips, causing a fire. In some instances, it can also be a fire safety code violation.