According to the US Fire Administration, around 20,000 house fires occur every year. Fifty percent of these fires are caused by portable heaters in the winter.
Space heaters can keep your place cozy throughout the colder months; however, they can also cause a fire if you use them carelessly.
However, you can reduce this risk substantially by following certain safety tips. Don’t worry, if you have no idea how to go about it, as we have you covered. As we delve into the discussion, let’s quickly understand some of the key safety features you should consider when using a space heater in your home.
What Safety Features Does a Space Heater Have?
Be sure your space heater has the following safety features before buying it.
- Tip-over switch: It shuts the unit off if it happens to fall over
- Automatic shut-off: This feature shuts off the unit if it starts overheating
- Plastic face: The plastic face covers the grill to prevent it from burning your skin upon contact
- Thermostat: Takes into account the indoor temperature to determine when to turn on and off
These features are important if you have children or pets in your home. Also, if you don’t plan on monitoring the heater constantly, the automatic shut-off can be beneficial.
Safety Tips for Using a Space Heater
You can keep your home safe and sound by:
- Making sure the space heater is in proper working condition and has no dirt or debris inside the unit
- Avoiding extension cords or power strips when plugging in your heater
- Thoroughly inspecting the cords and plugs for any exposed wiring
- Not leaving the heater running when you’re sleeping or not home
- Placing heaters away from high traffic areas
- Not placing it on carpet, furniture, rugs, or countertops
- Placing the heater three feet from flammable items (sofas, blankets, and draperies) or combustible liquids
- Not running the cord of the space heater under carpets or rugs
- Being cautious when moving the heater from one place to the other
- Not using the space heater for thawing pipes, cooking food, or drying towels
- Keeping children away to avoid accidental contact that may result in burns or electrical shock
- Not placing the heater in enclosed areas or desks
For extra precaution, make sure you have smoke detectors in your home and that they work properly.
Space heaters can cause a house fire, injuries, and casualties. If you want to use the heating unit during the winter months, follow the safety tips mentioned above. They will help you use the unit properly and avoid costly mistakes.