During colder months utility bills can be tough to handle, so many people have started turning to space heaters to cut down on energy costs. Space heaters save money by, allowing people to only heat the room or space they occupy rather than having a central heating system that expends energy to fill an entire structure.
Other reasons for using space heaters are for areas that aren’t served well by other heating systems, temporary heating when it will only be necessary for a short time, or targeted use for an individual that isn’t comfortable, while others in the room are.
With so many people using space heaters for so many different reasons it’s important to know they need to be used safely. Space heaters carry risks that aren’t associated with other heating systems, and with over 43 percent of home heating fires caused by space heaters every year, following these recommended tips for use is critical.
- Place space heaters on hard, flat, non-flammable surfaces. They are designed to be placed on floors, and because of how hot they get, they should never be placed on something that can catch fire.
- Turn the heater off when it is being left unattended. While it may be nice to come back to the room and have it nice and toasty, leaving a space heater on without someone being alert in case of malfunction means you could return to a devastating fire.
- Spaces that hold flammable chemicals, such as garages or shops, are off-limits to space heaters. The types of fumes that come from combustible materials can fill areas where they are stored and may be ignited by space heaters.
- Always plug directly into the wall outlet, and unplug when not in use. Extension cords, surge protectors, and other outlet expansion products are not built to handle the electrical load of a space heater. Many electrical fires occur when people fail to plug space heaters directly into the wall.
- Establish a three-foot safe zone around the heater. By keeping the heater at least three feet from fabrics, curtains and other flammable items will help ensure they don’t catch fire. Also be sure that small children and pets aren’t able to get within that three-foot zone as they can be injured or cause the heater to malfunction by tipping it.
- Plug only the heater into the outlet, having a second device or cord plugged into the other port in the outlet can cause too much of an energy load on the outlet, which can cause the outlet to overheat.
- Keep working smoke and heat detectors operational throughout the home or office to alert anyone of possible danger.
When using space heaters, safety first. To stay up to date and learn more tips, area happenings and more stop by our Facebook page and follow us.