Prevent Space Heater Fires With These Safety Tips
While space heaters can be a great way to keep your home warm during the colder winter months, they can also be dangerous when not used correctly. If you’re thinking about using a space heater to help supplement your heating system this year, there are some safety tips that you want to follow to ensure that your home stays safe.
Make Sure That It’s Safety Certified
There are a few nationally recognized consumer safety groups out there that will test the safety of various products. Whenever a particular product passes the rigorous safety test, it will become certified by the testing company. The three most common that you’ll see throughout the United States are UL from Underwriters Laboratories, ETL from Intertek, and CSA from the Canadian Safety Association. Ensure that any space heater that you’re planning on purchasing has one of these certification labels on the box.
Put It on a Level Surface
Where you place your space heater is going to determine how well it works for you. It’s highly recommended that you place it on a level surface where it’s not prone to tipping over. Avoid placing your space heater on any high surfaces like cabinets, coffee tables, or even on furniture. You want to place your space heater on the ground so that it can provide heat in the bottom of your room and naturally rise up to the top.
Invest in Adequate Safety Features
If you plan on using a space heater for the first time this winter, it’s best to purchase a modern space heater over using an old one that you found in the garage. Modern space heaters have more standard safety features than older models that can help to protect your home. Three must-have features include tip-over protection, overheat protection, and cool-touch housing.
Have Smoke Detectors Installed
Before you attempt to turn on your space heater, you need to have active smoke detectors throughout your home. It’s recommended to have at least one smoke detector on every level of your home. You also want to ensure that they’re outside of the main bedrooms of your home. Be sure to test your smoke detectors at least once every month and replace the batteries every six months.
Check Before You Plug It In
Whether it’s the first time you’re using your space heater or the 20th time, you need to check over the entire unit to ensure that it’s in good condition before plugging it in. You want to check the housing to make sure that there are no cracks in it. In addition, check the cord to make sure that it’s secure and that there are no bare wires.
Be There When It’s in Use
While you can do everything possible to prevent your space heater from accidentally catching on fire, there’s still a small possibility that it might. For that reason, it’s best that you remain in your home when using your space heater. You should never set your unit to turn on whenever you’re not going to be at home as you can’t watch it to make sure that nothing goes wrong. Also, you want to make sure that you never fall asleep while you have the space heater running as you will be unresponsive to a potential fire problem.
Give It Space
Because your space heater can produce a lot of heat in a small area, it’s important that you be very mindful of where you place it inside of your home. You don’t want to place it close to any objects that are flammable. In general, it’s best to give three feet of open space the whole way around your space heater. This will allow your space heater to have adequate airflow and prevent any flammable objects from being destroyed.
Use It Appropriately
Space heaters are specifically designed to heat rooms inside of a home. They are not designed to dry your clothing, cook your dinner, or thaw out your pipes. Resist the urge to use your space heater for any of these activities as it could adversely affect the ability of your space heater to do its job correctly and can increase your risk of experiencing a house fire.
Choice Heating Services
Vastola Heating & Cooling offers choice heating services for the entire Orchard Park, NY, area. Come to us for all of your indoor air quality, ducting, humidifier, dehumidifier, water heater, smart thermostat, generator, AC repair, maintenance, and installation needs. Pick up the phone and call us today to schedule your next service appointment.