This time of year, many of us are reaching for space heaters to help keep drafts at bay. Unfortunately, these handy appliances come with some risks. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are the source of at least 43 percent of house fires and 85 percent of home heating fire fatalities. While these statistics sound frightening, there are safe ways to use your space heater this season. Keep these tips in mind as you get cozy:
Skip Extension Cords, Power Strips
If it’s been awhile since you last used your space heater, look for the safety certification label. It’ll have guidelines and recommendations that pertain to your specific unit. All space heaters should be plugged directly into the outlet. While power strips and extension cords might be convenient, they’re prone to overheating. Your safety certification label likely warns of this, so take heed.
Set Space Heaters on Level Surfaces
Space heaters are only safe so long as they’re positioned upright. The second the turn over, they’re at risk of catching fire. With that in mind, ensure you space heater is placed on a flat surface at all times. If you have kids or pets, this may mean putting your unit behind a baby gate to prevent accidental tip-overs. Avoid hiding the space heater cords under a rug, too – it can pose a serious fire risk.
Always Supervise Your Space Heater
Power your space heater off when you leave the room. They need careful supervision to be used safely. You’ll want to keep an eye on it to make sure it’s not overheating. If it’s too hot to the touch, it’s time to turn the unit off. In fact, this is a warning sign that your space heater may be nearing the end of its life. When they get too hot to touch, space heaters become even more dangerous to have around the house. When in doubt, replace your unit with a newer model.
Alternative Solutions to Chasing Away Chilly Temperatures
While there’s no denying the convenience of a space heater, there are more efficient and effective ways to keep your home comfortable all year round. From radiant floor heating to fan installations and beyond, the Jason Pope Electrical contractors are here to help. Contact our team today to explore your options!