It’s almost fire prevention week, so it is a good idea to talk about fire safety and space heaters as they commonly cause fires in the home. When it’s frigid outside, you are probably concerned with how you will keep your family warm. Because of this, you may choose to use a space heater in some of the rooms in your home. However, it’s important that space heaters be used properly in order to keep them from causing a house fire. Here are some safety tips that you should always keep in mind when you are using a space heater.
Never Plug It Into a Surge Protector
Many individuals are so used to plugging devices into a surge protector that they think that the safest thing for them to do when using a space heater is to plug it into one rather than a wall outlet. However, a space heater should never be plugged into a surge protector. It could overheat it and cause it to catch on fire. You should only plug your space heater into an outlet. Don’t plug anything else into the same outlet, as it can cause the energy load on the outlet to be too much for it to handle.
Read the Owner’s Manual Beforehand
It is common for some individuals to just plug their space heater in without reading the owner’s manual. Unfortunately, this can result in them not using it properly and causing a fire. Even if you purchase the same space heater that you’ve used in the past, it is still a good idea to read the owner’s manual beforehand. Safety information might have changed, and the owner’s manual may have been updated. By reading the entire contents of it, you can ensure that you are using your space heater properly.
Don’t Leave Your Space Heater Unattended
Many individuals turn on their space heater before they are ready to occupy a room so that it will warm up the space. This isn’t a wise idea as it can cause a house fire. Your space heater should never be left unattended. It can only take a few seconds for a disastrous situation to occur. Someone needs to be present in the room at all times so that they can turn off the space heater if it starts to malfunction. This can keep a small issue from turning into a big one fairly quickly.
Turn It Off Before You Fall Asleep
You may want to keep your home warm even when you are sleeping. Because of this, you might be tempted to leave your space heater on all night long. While this may make the space more comfortable, you are putting your family in harm’s way by doing so. Always turn off your space heater before you fall asleep. If you are worried about becoming too cold in the middle of the night, put a few extra blankets on your bed.
Don’t Allow Your Children or Pets to Get Near Them
Your pets and children can easily hurt themselves by getting near your space heaters. Even getting within a few inches of one of them can cause burns. They can also cause a house fire if they accidentally knock it over. This is why you need to keep your children away from any of the space heaters in the house.
Only Use Your Space Heaters How They Are Intended to Be Used
Space heaters are only meant to be used to warm a room. Unfortunately, a lot of people use them for other things like drying clothes or thawing pipes. However, this can cause a fire, and you only should use your space heaters how they are intended to be used.
Make Sure Your Smoke Detectors Work
Even with proper use, you may run into an issue with one of your space heaters. Because of this, you should make sure that your smoke detectors work. If a fire occurs when you are using your space heater, the smoke detectors will let others in your home know that there is an issue, even if they aren’t in the same room. It’s a good idea to test your smoke detectors once a month, and you should change the batteries in them at least every six months.
Place Your Space Heaters at Least Three Feet Away From Any Objects
A lot of people make the mistake of just placing their space heater on the floor without thinking about what’s around it. There shouldn’t be anything within three feet of it like furniture, blankets, or curtains. If you put your space heater too close to these items, you run the risk of them catching on fire. When choosing a spot to put your space heater, you need to place it in an area that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. You don’t want someone to accidentally knock it over when they are walking by. Never place it at the entrance of a room or near a door.
Only Put Your Space Heater on the Floor
You may think that you can warm up a room faster by placing your space heater higher up in a room. However, it also should never be put on top of a table or a counter when it’s in use. It can easily get knocked over and cause a fire to start. When your space heater is turned on, it needs to be left on the floor in order to keep an accident from happening.
Unplug It When It Isn’t in Use
Even if you plan on using your space heater later in the day, you should never leave it plugged in. Your child or your pet could inadvertently hit the button that turns it on without you knowing it. It only takes a few seconds to unplug it and plug it back in later on.
Never Use a Space Heater That Has Some Kind of Damage
One of the nice things about space heaters is that they do tend to last for a long time. Because of this, you may be tempted to use one that you’ve had for a while even though it shows signs of damage. Unfortunately, this isn’t a good idea. If the cord of your space heater is frayed or damaged, you should throw it out. If the heating elements on it are loose or no longer fully protected by a covering, it is time for you to purchase a new space heater.
Space heaters can be rather convenient and effective if they are used properly. If you are having issues keeping your home warm during the winter, Liberty Comfort Systems can help. We offer heating repair, installation, and maintenance. To learn more about all of our products and how we can help you keep your Anoka, MN, home at a comfortable temperature, contact Liberty Comfort Systems today. We look forward to your call!