Space heaters are convenient options to get heat into cold spots in your home, temporarily stay warm while your furnace is being fixed, or up the temperature in a space where you don’t directly control the HVAC system. However, they are also potentially dangerous. You need to know how to use space heaters safely if you’re going to purchase one. Here are seven space heater safety tips you should follow.
1. Purchase a Safer Space Heater
When you buy your space heater, ensure that there is a seal on it indicating that it has been tested by a qualified testing laboratory, like Underwriters Laboratories. Make sure that the one you choose has a thermostat and will shut down if it overheats.
2. Flat, Smooth Surface
Don’t be tempted to put your space heater on a fabric surface, something that is bumpy, or a stool. Instead, choose a flat, smooth surface and, ideally, the floor. You don’t want the heater to fall over onto something as it will be more likely to start a fire that way.
3. Three-Foot Rule
The most basic rule about space heaters is to keep everything three feet away from them. That includes you because too close contact with a space heater can burn you. It also includes blankets, fabrics, pets, children, and anything flammable.
4. Don’t Use Extension Cords
Space heaters should be used directly in a wall outlet. Most extension cords will not deliver the power that the space heater needs, they quite literally cannot pull enough power out in order to supply it. That means that the space heater will run on less energy than usual, and it will cause electrical problems which may lead to a fire. A surge protector can have the same problems so ensure not to use them with space heaters either.
5. Don’t Leave It Unattended
You shouldn’t leave a space heater unattended. That means you can’t fall asleep in front of the space heater either. If it falls or if a problem happens you need to be there and awake to respond to it.
6. Don’t Block Exits
In order to prevent people from tripping on the space heater, avoid setting it somewhere that it will block an exit. Also, avoid placing it in walkways so that people won’t trip on it while they walk by.
7. Explain it to Kids
Young children should be kept away from space heaters, at least three feet. If your child is old enough to explain the danger of a space heater it is essential to explain it to them. Stress that the space heater should be three feet from them and anything flammable. Explain to them that the space heater should always be standing up and if it falls over, they should either lift it or talk to you (age-dependent.)
Are you looking for more information on space heater safety or use? Let our team of experts answer any and all of your questions. Contact D&B ClimateCare today.