When the temperatures drop, we are prone to break out the space heaters. They are a relatively inexpensive way to keep electricity bills down during the cooler months. It is important to recognize the importance of space heater safety.
Space heaters may keep us warm and cozy, but it is important to remember that they are also fire and electrical hazards. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are involved in more than a thousand home fires every year. Space heaters should be kept away from carpeting, curtains and blankets to avoid possible fires.
Space Heater Safety Tips
Below are some space heater safety tips for you to utilize this winter season:
- Keep Flammable Items Away – Clothes, sheets, blankets, upholstered furniture, carpet or other flammable objects should not be near your space heater, because they can easily catch fire easily. All furniture and beds should be at least 3 feet away from the heater. It may seem simple, but remember that space heaters need space!
- Going to Bed? Turn Your Space Heater Off! – Even if you leave the room for a few minutes, it is important to turn off your heater as it could start a fire that quickly gets out of control. You should never leave space heaters unattended.
- Adult Supervision Required – Children may not know to stay away from a space heater. They could easily tip it over or put something flammable near it. To be on the safe side, do not leave children alone with space heaters.
- Flat, Solid Surface – Do not place your space heater on a table, dresser or other unreliable, unstable or flammable surface. The smoother the surface, the better.
- Plug Directly Into an Outlet – Never use an extension cord or surge protector with your space heater. Most space heaters use about 1,500 watts of power at their maximum temperature. Extension cords are not designed to handle large energy loads. If possible, use a three-pronged grounded outlet to power your space heater.
- Not For Drying or Warming – Only utilize space heaters for supplemental heat. They should not be used to warm linens, thaw pipes, dry clothes, or cook food.
- Smoke Alarms Ready – It may seem obvious, but make sure your smoke alarm is fully functional. Check to ensure they are working properly and replace batteries as soon as it blinks or beeps.
Newer Space Heater Safety Features:
- Automatic Shut-Off – Some space heaters have an automatic shut-off feature. If it gets tipped over, this shuts off your space heater automatically.
- Timer – Some newer model space heaters are equipped with timers. This feature lets you set how long you want the heater to run. It is important to have this feature if you plan to leave it on while you are sleeping.
- Adjustable Thermostat – There are also space heater models with adjustable thermostats. This feature helps you conserve energy because the heater only runs when the temperature falls below the number you set it to. Therefore, the space heater will not run constantly, which further reduces the risk of a fire starting.
Fires Happen, Call on GRS
At the end of the day, no matter how careful you are with space heater safety, fire emergencies happen. Most often these do not occur during an 8-5 business day. That’s why Guarantee Restoration Services is available 24/7, which is not just a number, it’s a guarantee. If you experience smoke damage or a fire loss this winter season, give us a call at 1-800-349-HELP (4357).