How to start an electric fire with just a Marshall amp, a space heater, and a power strip

Over the weekend, I had an article printed in the New York Times Real Estate section about that time I nearly burned the house down with a really dumb electrical error:

I was down in my unfinished basement working on some music, and my fingers were too cold to play the guitar. So I grabbed a space heater that I was long-term testing for Wirecutter, placed it on the wooden workbench where my audio workstation was set up, and plugged it into the nearest power strip — the one my Marshall amplifier was also plugged into.

I turned the heater on and waited five seconds. The power strip blew up.

What follows—the actual useful, relevant part—is some handy advice I've learned (from first-hand experience, as well as interviews and research) about proper safety when it comes to living with a space heater. As more people will be spending more time at home this winter, it's important to make sure you don't do anything dumb like me in your pursuit of staying warm.

Alternatively: thermal underwear, a sweater, and a pair of gloves are a great way to stay warm without the risks to your home and planet, or the increase in your electrical bill.

How Not to Burn Down Your House With a Space Heater [Thom Dunn / New York Times]

Image: Pexels/NeedPix (Public Domain)