Space heaters can be a great way to provide supplemental heat to various rooms of your home that don’t get warm enough. However, they can also be dangerous when not used correctly. In fact, around 25,000 house fires happen every year because of space heater problems. To ensure that your home stays fire-free, you’ll want to follow the safety tips below.
Opt for Electric
There are a few different types of fuel that can be used for a space heater, the most popular being electric and oil. You should always opt for an electric space heater as they’re safe to use indoors. Most oil heaters require some sort of venting in order to be used indoors and can pose a higher risk of creating a house fire.
Look for the Safety Label
Whenever you purchase a space heater, you want to make sure that it has a safety label on it. There are different organizations that put their certification label on products that they deem safe for consumers to use. The most common label you’ll see is a silver one with a large UL written on it. This means that it has been approved by Underwriters Laboratories.
Two other standard safety labels include ETL and CSA international. If a space heater that you’re looking at purchasing does not have any sort of safety label on it, don’t buy it. It hasn’t been formally tested to meet the necessary safety standards for your home.
Use a Wall Outlet Only
With so many devices needing power these days, it’s very common to use power strips, extension cords, and even outlet converters. When it comes to utilizing your space heater, you don’t want to be using anything other than a traditional wall outlet to power it.
Typically, space heaters pull too much power and can actually cause a power strip to catch on fire. When plugging a space heater into a wall, make sure that you don’t use the other outlet as the combination of a space heater and another electrical device can cause an overload on the circuit.
Install and Test Smoke Detectors
Before you ever run a space heater in your home, you should have smoke detectors installed. They are recommended to be installed on every level of your home. You also want to have them installed outside each bedroom. Just having them installed is not enough, though.
You should be testing each smoke detector at least once a month to ensure that it’s working correctly. It’s a good idea to plan on replacing the batteries in each smoke detector every six months to a year. There’s no point in having smoke detectors if they don’t work.
Always Inspect Before Using
It’s crucial to always make it a rule to look over your entire space heater before you plug it in. This doesn’t just mean looking it over when you first get it. Rather, you want to look it over every time you go to use it to ensure that there are no defects.
More specifically, you’re going to be looking for any cracks in the heater housing. Also, you want to inspect the wire to see if any of it has become frayed or exposed. If you notice any problems with your space heater, it’s best to get it fixed or replace it instead of trying to use it when it is defective.
They Need Room
It’s absolutely essential that your space heater be given enough room so that it doesn’t cause any flammable objects to catch on fire. The general rule of thumb is to give it a solid three-foot radius around the entire space heater. This helps to prevent items from falling onto it or being too close and overheating.
Put the Cord Out of the Way
Also, be mindful of where you place the cord for your space heater. You never want to place it in an area where people walk or where things can fall directly onto the cord. In addition, you don’t want to put it underneath a rug as it can create a tripping hazard. You don’t want your cord to experience any wear and tear as it could damage the protective coating and expose the wiring.
Helpful Heating Services
Breckinridge Heating & Cooling offers helpful heating services for the entire Louisville, KY, region. We’re also here for all of your indoor air quality, ductless mini-splits, and cooling and heating repairs, installation, and maintenance needs. Call us today to schedule your next service appointment.