We are all quick to turn on our space heaters in the cold and snowy weather. However, in this rush, we often forget that we need to consider the risk that comes along with them. According to studies conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are the cause of just over 40 percent of house fires. Proactively follow these safety tips when using a space heater to reduce the risk of a fire.
Space Heater Safety Tips
Check Your Space Heater’s Paperwork
Every space heater box will come with paperwork that has instructions and specific safety tips. These instructions will explain how to use the machine appropriately. The paperwork should also come with a certification of the device, ensuring that it has been built and tested properly. If the device does not come with proper certification this may be a concerning factor. In the event the space heater does not contain a manual with safety guidelines, contact the seller to obtain the papers. If the seller does not have the correct paperwork, it is not worth the risk of using it unless you take extra precautions, if you decide to keep it.
Get a Space Heater With Safety Features
One of the safest space heaters you can get are ones that have been designed with an automatic shut-off. This safety feature will turn off the space heater when it has been on for too long or when it reaches a dangerous temperature. This is a great feature especially when the space heater is being used as a heat source late at night.
Watch Where You Plug It In
Many people enjoy keeping the heater as close as possible and this means using an extension cord or extended power strip. However, using extension cords for a space heater can cause it to overheat. To avoid this problem, plug the space heater directly into the wall socket instead.
Be Careful Where You Place It
The standard procedure is to always put the space heater three feet away from anything flammable such as curtains, rugs, clothing, and especially beds. It is also important to avoid placing them in high-traffic areas. If it is in the way it will increase the chance of somebody tripping over it, falling, and even causing the heater to land on a surface like a carpet which can result in a fire.
Watch the Kids and Pets
When you have kids and pets in the house, try keeping space heaters out of reach. Pets and kids are not fully aware of the dangers and harm that space heaters can cause. It is important that kids cannot get close to the space heater. Place the heater higher up or behind pet and kid-friendly gates.
Turn It off When You Are Done
When you are leaving the area, or if the room is warm enough, turn off the space heater. This will not only avoid overheating, but it will reduce the risk of any incidents. Leaving an unattended space heater is highly dangerous as nothing can be stopped if no one is there to see it.
Keep an Eye on Your Heater
You should always keep an eye on how your portable heating system is doing over time. If you are experiencing any issues with the heater, it is safer to just replace it. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to items like space heaters which can cause catastrophic damage.
Additional Information: Electric Portable Space Heater Safety – National Fire Protection Association
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