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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Safety Tips when using a Space Heater

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Nothing can take the chill out of a cold room quite like a space heater, but they are also dangerous, 40-percent of home heating fires are caused by space heaters. Before purchasing a space heater, it is important to think about how you will be using it. Will it be used for supplemental heat in colder rooms or other areas, or will it be used for emergency heat? As a general rule of thumb, electric space heaters are typically safer than portable fuel-burning models (e.g. natural gas, propane, kerosene.) When choosing a unit try to find one that is listed or labeled by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as CSA (Canadian Standards Association), UL (Underwriters Laboratories), or ETL (Intertek). Doing this will ensure that the heater’s construction and performance meet voluntary safety standards. Continue reading for some tips for keeping your home or office safe while using a space heater. While some may seem obvious, others may surprise you:

  • Protect with Smoke Alarms -Make sure you have smoke alarms/carbon monoxide on every floor of your home and they are tested them regularly.
  • Keep it Level -Always make sure the space heater on a hard, level and non-flammablesurface
  • Use a Timer - Many models feature programmable timers that can be used to program automatic on and off times for when you sleep or head to work.
  • Area Free of Flammable Liquids- Do not put them on easily ignitable or combustible surfaces, such as rugs or carpets, or use them to dry wet clothing.
  • Don't Extend the Power Line -Avoid using an extension cord. Plug a space heater directly into an outlet with enough capacity.
  • Remember the 3 Feet Rule -Ensure the space heater is at least 3ft away from anything that isn’t non-flammable.
  • Keep it a Kid Free Zone -Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Clean Your Space Heater -Be sure to clean your space heater regularly, and follow your manufacturer’s guide for specific advice on maintenance and inspection.
  • Don't Leave it Running -Never leave a space heater on when you leave.

Most space heaters will warm you up, but not all are created equal. The best space heater will included safety features like tip-over protection and UL certification. It should also be easy to move and operate, dispersing heat without wasting energy. Below is a great website you can use to find the best space heater for you and your needs.


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