The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there are about 1,200 fires that occur on an annual basis because of the use of space heaters. While these fires are unfortunate, you can take some steps to properly use a space heater to provide you with some extra heat in the colder winter months.
Consider a Safety Certified Heater
Stay away from the no-name brand heaters that don’t come with a safety certification. Quality control is used by the more popular brands to ensure that everything is working properly, durable materials are used, and the inner components aren’t prone to malfunction.
Picking the Safest Spot for Your Space Heater
There are safe spots where your space heater should be placed. Do not put it in a doorway, on a step, or in a highly trafficked area. Make sure the surface it’s on is totally flat. Leave 3 feet of space in the front of the heater where the warm air is coming out. It’s even safer to pull the heater away from the wall, so it has proper airflow all around it. Make sure there are no loose items that are flammable around the heater.
Use a Thermostat Function
Many space heaters come with a thermostat built into them that helps control the temperature of the heater running. When your room hits the temperature you have the heater set at, the heater will automatically switch into an idle mode. It turns back on when the room’s temperature drops. This is a great feature as it prevents the space heater from becoming overheated.
In addition to a thermostat function, look for a unit that has an automatic shutoff feature. If your unit tips over, it will completely turn off.
Routinely Inspecting Your Space Heater
Each time you’re going to plug in your space heater, check the cord, the switches, the unit itself, and any other parts that could be damaged. If you notice anything is wrong, or the heater isn’t working as it should be, look into having it repaired by a reputable professional. You can also replace the unit entirely if you are concerned about the safety and integrity of the space heater.
Keep Space Heaters Away From Kids
Space heaters can help keep everyone in your home comfortable, but you should keep space heaters out of the areas where your kids are playing. There’s too much of a risk of kids knocking the unit over, burning themselves on a hot space heater, or placing a flammable item near the space heater.
Turn It Off When Not in Use
When your space heater isn’t being used, turn it off completely and unplug it from the wall. Store it in a safe area until the unit has cooled off. Make sure that you’re not tucking the cord to your space heater underneath a rug, and don’t run it along baseboards to make it less visible. This could lead to dangerous damage to the cord.
Where to Plug in Your Space Heater
A space heater should always be plugged right into your wall receptacle when in use. Avoid using an extension cord or power strip for your heater. They’re not always equipped to properly power a space heater, which can increase the risk of a fire.
Avoid High Humidity Areas
Areas of the home that have high levels of moisture in the air should be avoided. It’s tempting to come out of the shower and get dressed in a warm bathroom, but the moisture can damage your space heater.
Turn Off Your Space Heater at Night
A space heater shouldn’t be utilized at night when you and your family are sleeping. This isn’t the proper way to monitor the space heater when it’s on. Turn off your heater and unplug it when it’s time to get to bed at the end of the day. If your bedroom is cold at night, anticipate running the heater for a little bit before you head to bed in order to bring the temperature of the room up.
If you would like to schedule routine service for your heating and cooling system in order to practice fire safety prevention for your Festus home, contact Bone Heating & Cooling for more information. We can take care of routine maintenance, service repairs, and even the installation of new equipment. Look to us for all your indoor air quality needs too.