Space Heater Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Do you run a space heater in your Madison County home to help you keep warm? Using your space heater safely is critical! These handy units can and have caused fires and even death.

5% of Space Heater Fires Cause Death

According to experts, one out of every 20 fires that is started by a space heater results in death. Millions of dollars’ worth of damage is caused by space heaters each year. Most fires are caused by combustible items placed too close to the unit. If you are using a space heater, be vigilant about using it the right way.

Safety Tips for Using Space Heaters

  • Only buy a space heater that is certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratory (UL) or another reputable testing company. Certified and tested heaters will have ideal safety features that prevent fire hazards, whereas older and used heaters won’t employ the necessary safety features.
  • Read manufacturer guidelines for using the heater, and follow its advice for proper usage.
  • Isolate the space heater, and keep it away from combustible items like carpeting, rugs, furniture drapes and other household items. It should be at least three feet from these kinds of items.
  • Secure the space heater. Make sure it rests on a level surface, and keep it away from foot traffic to reduce the risk of someone knocking it over, which could increase the risk of starting a fire.
  • Don’t use extension cords with the heater. If you need a longer plug, only use a high-powered extension cord that can accommodate the power of the heater.
  • Avoid relying heavily on the heater for heat. Use it only in short spurts, always while attended, and never when you’re sleeping and can’t keep an eye on it.
  • If you have pets or children, be vigilant about safety when using the space heater in their presence.
  • Space heaters and water don’t mix. Never position a space heater near a water source, and never in a bathroom or near a utility sink or kitchen sink.
  • Always turn the device off when you leave the room. When you return to the room, if you need heat, turn it back on.
  • If a space heater is operating in a room where a someone is sleeping, shut it off. If the person turns over, falls off the couch, or extends a limb, it could interfere with space heater safety and could cause severe burns.
  • Always use kerosene with a kerosene space heater, and never gasoline or other fuel. Mixing fuels instantly raises the risk of a fire.
  • Install smoke detectors in your home so that you are quickly alerted to a fire. Once they’re installed, or if you already have them, test them regularly to ensure the detectors are functional.

Be Safe!

You can safely operate a space heater in your home and reduce the risk of a fire by following these safety guidelines. For more help with home HVAC issues or services, contact Bunn’s and Bennett Heating and Air Conditioning.

Bunn’s and Bennett is a heating and air conditioning contractor and has served Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley for more than 32 years. We are factory trained, insured, licensed and bonded.

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