This is exactly why a good thermostat can save your little critters. A thermostat would have turned off the heat when the room temps went up.
Of course they are a lot more expensive than rheostats. That's why I only have rheostats...but My herps and I live in a basement so it stays cool.
I have seen the "how to" for making a rheostat and I even made one...but does anyone know how to make a cheap thermostat? I have looked at household furnace thermostats and I figured that they could be wired to to a plug and then could be used to shut the heaters off when the ambient temps reached the set temp.
Because they don't have a probe like "herp" thermostats, I would just like to use one as a safety shut off. If the temp in the general area of the herps becomes too hot then the thermostat shuts off the whole works.
I think I'll ask an electrician friend of mine.
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.