People across the country take steps to keep their loved ones warm during winter as outdoor temperatures drop. We now have to address the problem of fires involving heating equipment. It is important to learn space heater safety tips. These are disturbing statistics from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
Space heaters use a lot of electricity to produce heat. Space heaters pose a risk of fire and should be avoided. Keep these safety tips in mind when using space heaters.
Safety tips for space heaters
- Look for one that has the label of a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have been evaluated to ensure they meet safety standards. Manufacturers are required to give important care and use information to consumers.
- A heater should have a guard surrounding the heating element. Protect your skin and fabrics by using a wire grill or another protection to protect the heating element. However, portable electric heaters heat by circulating water or oil and do not require guards.
- Read the instruction manual before you use a heater. Follow the instructions to operate and maintain your heater.
- You must ensure that the heater, plug, cord, and outlet are in good condition. Cords should not be run under carpets or rugs as they can cause damage and even a fire.
- To power heaters, never use extension cords or power strips. The devices should be plugged directly into wall outlets. To reduce overheating, don’t plug in any other electrical devices into the same outlet.
- Make sure the plug, cord, and outlet are not too hot. If the heater’s wires are too hot, immediately unplug it and get it checked by a professional.
- Ensure that you are always in control of the heaters when they are being used. Unplug them before leaving the room or going to bed. The portable electric air heaters can only be used temporarily to provide supplemental heating.
- Heaters should be kept at least three feet from flame-prone materials such as paper, carpet, and trash bins.
- Although electric space heaters don’t have an open flame the heating elements of certain electric heaters can ignite nearby combustibles. You should also check the temperature of objects around you to make sure they are not too hot.
- You shouldn’t dry your clothes with an electric heater.
- You should place heaters on a horizontal, stable surface, preferably the floor, so that they are not easily knocked over.
- To prevent heater damage, heaters should not be used in areas with high humidity, such as the bathroom and kitchen. To reduce the chance of electric shock, never touch the heater with wet hands.
- Children and pets should always be supervised when the heater is on. You should not place the heater in a location where children could play or people might bump into it. Children should not be allowed to adjust or move the heater.
- The heater should be kept in a safe and working condition. Replacing guards or controls should be done immediately. Never operate a defective heater.