Space Heater Safety Tips
Space heaters are an excellent investment as they not only keep the indoor environment warm and comfortable during winters but are also quite energy efficient. These amazing small devices can keep you warm and cozy during the winter months. However, it is important to note that these space heaters also pose a serious threat to the safety of your residential or commercial facility if used incorrectly.
Portable heaters are the second leading cause of fire damage in the US. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are responsible for more than 25,000 house fires every year.
With the given risks, facility owners are reluctant to use these small, powerful heating systems. However, if you follow best practices, space heaters aren't inherently dangerous.
Here are 11 safety tips to keep you, your family, and your home safe.
1- Look for Safety Features In Your New Space Heater
Overtime, space heaters have evolved a lot and now come with various safety features to ensure safety and peace of mind. Whenever investing in a new system, look for the following features:
If internal components reach an unsafe temperature, the switch automatically shuts off the unit to prevent overheating.
If the unit is tipped or tilted more than forty-five degrees, it immediately interrupts the power to the heating element.
A protective steel surrounding the internal heat exchanger is used so the exterior stays cool to the touch.
2- Review Instructions & Warning Labels
Always read the instructions and warning labels before using the product. These contain several different pieces of information that are important and useful. Labels help you to use the product safely and effectively.
3- Avoid Using Extension Cords & Power Strips
Added electrical connection layers can overload the circuit, resulting in overheating of extension cords and power strips. This can cause a fire, and therefore you should always plug your heating system directly into an outlet with sufficient power capacity.
4- Turn Off & Unplug When Not In Use
As a rule of thumb, always turn off the space heater and unplug it when leaving the area. It is essential to always keep a check on your system while it’s running and never leave it unattended.
5- The Heater Belongs To The Floor
A space heater blowing warm air right on you may sound tempting, but these devices are not meant to be placed on a shelf or a stool, or a wooden workbench. Keeping your heater in such places can increase the risk of tipping over and causing a fire. The best practice is to place your space heater on a solid, flat surface; like the floor.
6- Keep Your Space Heaters Away From Water
This should go without saying, but electricity and water are a deadly combination. While some of these devices are specifically designed for use in damp spaces, most of them must not be kept in a bathroom or a kitchen, or a humid basement. Doing so can drastically increase the risk of a short circuit or an electrical shock.
7- Keep Your Heater At A Safe Distance
Remember the Three-Foot-Rule - Always keep your space heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable items and objects, such as papers, curtains, and bedding.
8- Regular Inspection and Maintenance Is A Must
Frequently cleaning & maintaining will not only increase your system's useful life but will also ensure it's working safely. Always keep an eye for cracked or frayed cords, damaged prongs, or loose connections and replace them immediately. This will help prevent any unfortunate incidents like a space heater fire.
9- Keep Heaters Away From Kids & Pets
Space heaters must always be placed where children and pets can't get to them as they can accidentally knock them over. Using a child and pet safe gate would be a good choice, if necessary.
10- Cords Should Not Be Put Under The Rug
Many people choose to hide space heater's cords underneath a rug to avoid compromising on the aesthetics of the room and eliminate the risk of a tripping hazard. A common belief is that this practice is completely harmless. However, in reality, running the cord under the rug introduces a risk of fire, as the cord can fray or crimp beneath the rug, completely unseen, with potentially disastrous consequences.
With safety procedures and information provided in this article, we hope it was helpful. Space heaters are a great addition to your facility but you need to ensure that they are safely used. If you are looking to buy an electric heater, check out ProServices Supply’s extensive range of best electric heaters at affordable prices along with delivery services across the US. Stay safe this winter!