There are several reasons why people use space heaters. Not only do they effectively heat small spaces using minimal amounts of energy, they can be used all year round on demand and they allow property owners to save money on energy bills, especially in the winter. Portable heaters also work as fantastic outdoor heating devices for autumn fun and patio entertainment. Although they are popular electronics for both residential and commercial use, are space heaters safe to use in our homes and office? Continue reading to learn more about space heaters and a few safety tips to consider when using them.
Space Heater Safety Tips
There are some statistics you should be aware of before choosing to regularly heat your home with a space heater. For example, in 2010, similar heating devices and equipment were the cause of over 57,000 reported house fires. From these fires, more than 300 deaths occurred, more than one thousand people and children were injured, and more than one billion dollars’ worth of damages occurred. When it comes to using space heaters, be sure to fully understand the risks and potential dangers that they can cause.
To avoid the risk of fires, injury, and damages, review these important safety tips regarding space heaters:
⚠ Use a heater that has a protective casing blocking the flame or heat source. This can help avoid contact with children, pets, and clothing.
⚠ Purchase a heater that has been certified and approved by a national recognized testing laboratory or corporation (i.e. Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc.). These products generally meet the safety standards and requirements for indoor heating devices such as this.
⚠ Use an appropriately-sized space heater for the square footage you need to heat. Do not use a heater too large for a room.
⚠ Place space heaters at least 3 feet away from curtains, drapes, blankets, furniture, and other flammable materials.
⚠ Keep space heaters away from water.
⚠ Be sure that everyone in the home or office thoroughly understands how to use and operate the space heater. This includes children, babysitters, co-workers, and any other person within the property.
⚠ If using a natural gas or kerosene space heater, keep all other doors open in the house to prevent pollutant build-up. It also promotes proper combustion. Vented heating devices also require ventilation for apposite combustion.
⚠ Gas space heaters should always come with a pilot safety valve.
⚠ Never attempt to light the pilot if you smell even a trace of gasoline.
⚠ Never leave a space heater on overnight or when you are not home.
⚠ Place the space heater on a leveled area where it cannot be knocked over or bumped.
⚠ Try not to use extension cords. If you do, make sure it is a heavy-duty brand with an equal or higher power rating as your space heater.
⚠ Always remember that space heaters are intended for temporary use only.
⚠ Unvented or kerosene space heaters are illegal in some states. Be sure to do your research. Be aware that trailers and mobile homes require specialized indoor space heating equipment. Only vented or fuel-fired heaters should be used in these types of properties.