Guidelines to Prevent House Fires Caused by Space Heaters

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One of the most common causes of house fires is the misuse of space heaters. While space heaters can be a great way to get supplemental heat into your home, they clearly can be dangerous if not used correctly. By following the guidelines that we’re going to go over below, you can help to greatly reduce your risk of experiencing a household fire caused by a space heater.

Give the Heater Space

A must-follow guideline when it comes to using space heaters in your home is that you need to maintain an open space the whole way around the heater. It’s best to leave about a 3-foot space between your heater and any flammable materials like curtains or carpeting. This open space also allows your space heater to properly breathe while it’s working to prevent overheating.

When placing your space heater, avoid putting it in any doorways or any main routes of travel. You want it to be set off to the side of a room so that it’s less likely that it will be tripped over or knocked over.

Create a Kid-free Zone

When you first get a space heater, it’s important to speak to your kids about the dangers of it. Create a rule for a kid-free zone within 5 feet of the space heater. Make sure that your kids know where this boundary is so that they do not cross it and get burned or worse.

Use a Wall Outlet Only

Whenever you go to plug in your space heater, it’s essential that you only plug it into a wall outlet. You should never plug your space heater into an extension cord or a power strip as it could cause both of these to overheat. It’s also good practice not to plug anything else into the other receptacle of the wall outlet that you use for your space heater. This helps to keep the load down on the circuit so that you don’t blow it when you’re using your space heater.

Keep the Cord in Plain Sight

It’s never a good idea to put your cord underneath the carpet or something similar. That could cause the cord to actually melt and short out the space heater. In addition, hiding the cord underneath something like the carpet could cause a major tripping hazard. It’s best to leave the cord completely exposed so that everybody can see it while they’re walking around the room.

Don’t Use in Wet Rooms

You want to refrain from using your space heater in any of your bathrooms or even in your kitchen. These rooms can pose a major hazard. This is because the space heater powered by electricity can cause electrocution when it comes into contact with water.

Have Active Smoke Detectors

In the event that your space heater does somehow catch fire, it’s vital to have active smoke detectors that will alert you of the incident. It’s a good rule of thumb to have at least one smoke detector on every level of your home. There should also be a smoke detector outside your bedrooms to better alert you in the event of a fire while you’re sleeping.

Stick to Electric

You want to resist purchasing any space heater that runs on oil or gas. These need to be properly vented or they can create hazardous gases inside of your home. Simply stick to an electronic space heater as they’re very efficient and safer to have inside of your home.

Inspect Your Space Heater Regularly

Every time that you go to turn your space heater on, you want it inspected. You want to make sure that none of the cords are frayed or exposing bare wires. Second, you want to make sure that the plastic housing on your space heater isn’t cracked in any place. If you notice any defects with your system, it’s best to get them repaired or replace the space heater.

Check for a Safety Label

Whenever you’re looking at potential space heaters to buy, you want to check to see if they have a safety label on them. A safety label helps relay to you that the product has been tested by an independent consumer advocacy group to ensure safety inside of the home. The most common label that you’ll find is a silver one with the letters “UL” on it.

Quality Heating Services

Greeley Plumbing Heating & A/C offers quality heating services in the Glenwood, MN, area. We’re also here for all of your drain, sewer, water heater, air duct sealing, refrigeration, indoor air quality, sheet metal fabrication, and AC needs. Call us today to schedule your next appointment!

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