We all have that spot in our home that, no matter how hard we try, stays cooler than the rest of the house. That’s why we have space heaters. The space heater allows us to have a comfortable, warm area to enjoy without hiking up our power bills too much. However, heating doesn’t come without its inherent risks. Equipment used for heating is responsible for the second highest amount of home fires in the United States. Fires from these units have lead to death, injury, home loss and millions, if not billions of dollars in insurance claims.
Don’t Leave Your Heater
Much like a fighter pilot sticking with his wingman, you must do the same for your space heater. If you’re leaving the room, make sure your heater is turned OFF. Even if you’re only walking out for a couple minutes turn it off. A fire can spread in seconds, so be mindful of this when your space heater is in use.
Keep at Least 3 Feet from Your Heater
Any combustibles or items that will burn like paper, rugs, furniture or clothing should be kept at least 3 feet from your space heater. The idea is to heat an area, not an object. Space heaters make terrible grills, towel warmers, defrosters and bed warmers. Please only use them with caution and to heat small spaces.
Abide by Your Space Heater’s Manual
When you get a space heater be sure to read and comprehend the manual. They print those things for a reason-you may even learn something. Warning labels and manufacturers manuals are nothing to mess with.
Have Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors on Each Floor
Smoke is normally detected by your sense of smell, but a smoke detector doesn’t hurt at all. Unlike smoke, your nose cannot smell carbon monoxide. You should have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that can cause serious health issues including death. Your space heater may emit carbon monoxide if it isn’t working properly.
Plug Space Heaters Only Into Outlets
Never use an extension cord or power strip to plug in your space heater. This could cause fire or malfunction to your unit. Plug your heater directly into an outlet and be sure that it is the only thing plugged in to that specific outlet.
Inspect Your Heater Often
Always be sure to check that your power supply cord isn’t frayed, cracked broken or missing any parts. It’s smart to take that extra time to inspect the unit as well just to be sure everything is in working order. Examine it each time. As with any other appliance or device in your home, take every conceivable precaution when operating your space heater for optimum safety.