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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How to Properly Use Space Heaters

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Space Heater When used properly, space heaters can be a big help in cold weather!

During the winter, your central heating system works overtime. Sometimes you may only need to heat one room and give your main heater a break by using a portable space heater - an effective option, and one that can save you some money, too. 

These units are high-wattage appliances, though, and they do have the potential to cause fires in your home if not used correctly. Today, we are sharing some tips on the proper use of space heaters so that you and your loved ones can stay safe. 

When Purchasing A Space Heater

  • Label. Check to see that your heater is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Smart Heaters. Purchase one with a sensor that will shut it off automatically if it overheats or gets tipped over. 
  • Preparation. Install smoke detectors in your home, as well as carbon monoxide alarms. These need to be tested monthly. 
  • Inspection. Inspect your heater and its cord and plug. Do not use it if you think it could be defective. 

Setting Up Your Space Heater

  • Placement. Place your heater on a solid flat surface, and make sure it’s at least 3 feet from anything flammable. If it is being used in the garage or workshop, keep it away from any paint, oil, and gas cans. 
  • Hazards. Don’t place the heater on furniture or cover it up, and be careful of high-traffic areas and doorways, where someone could trip over it and get burned. Never run a power cord under carpets, rugs, or furniture. 
  • Plugs. Plug your heater into an outlet directly instead of using an extension cord or power strip. Make sure the plug fits well and is the only plug in the outlet.  
  • Water. Always keep your heater away from water, and if you’re wet - don’t touch it. 

Running Your Space Heater

  • Check. Check your heater often to make sure that the plug, cord, outlet, or faceplate isn’t hot. If it is, stop using it immediately, and remember that a hot cord may mean it is defective and could ignite a fire. 
  • Time. Don’t run your heater 24/7. It isn’t made to work for long periods of time. 
  • Turn it off. Never leave a space heater unattended or in a child’s room, and turn it off while you are sleeping. 

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