Safety Tips for Space Heaters
Space heaters provide a way to warm up individual rooms without turning up the thermostat to the entire house.
As the weather turns colder here in Western New York, many homeowners turn to space heaters as a way to warm up specific rooms in their home, as an alternative to turning on their furnace just yet, or even to keep their garage warm on the chilly days. If you are using a space heater, you should take precautions to ensure the safety of yourself, your family, and your home. Let’s review some safety tips for space heaters.
What exactly is a space heater?
Space heaters provide a way to warm up individual rooms without turning up the thermostat to the entire house. These small portable heaters can be placed almost anywhere in the home that flammable materials are not present. Space heaters differ from central heating systems, as space heaters are meant for smaller and typically enclosed spaces, while central HVAC systems heat your entire home.
There are several different types of space heaters: convection, radiant and infrared, ceramic fan-forced, and combination heaters.
Why is safety important when it comes to space heaters?
Safety should be top of mind when using space heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are responsible for 43% of house fires and 81% of home heating fire deaths.
What are some safety tips for space heaters?
Because space heaters can pose a safety risk, we have provided some safety tips for space heaters below:
– When purchasing a space heater, be sure it has the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
– Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully before using the heater.
– Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from people and anything that is flammable and can burn.
– Select a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
– Station the heater on a solid, flat surface that is out of the way of foot traffic and does not block an exit.
– Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
– Always plug the heater directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
– Unplug and turn off space heaters when you leave a room or go to sleep. Space heaters should never be left unattended.
– Only use the heater for supplemental heat and not to warm bedding, towels, or clothing, to cook food, or thaw pipes.
When using one of these heaters in your Western New York home, you should be aware of these safety tips for space heaters. Keep in mind, the best way to heat your entire home is with your furnace.
When your heater quits on you, call us for 24/7 heating repair. No matter what type of heating system—furnace, boiler, ductless, or hybrid unit—your home has, our technicians can get it running again.