Many people resort to using space heaters to keep warm in the winter. They work great and do a good job when they are used properly. Unfortunately many people don’t know enough about using a space heater to keep them safe. According to a NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) report in 2013, over half the deaths caused by heater related fires resulted from improper use of space heaters. Here are a few precautions to help you use Space Heaters Wisely.
It Matters Where You Place Your Space Heater
One of the leading causes of space heater fires results from space heaters being placed to close to combustible items or items that burn easily. Keep your space heater away from combustible storage items and cleaning supplies. Don’t put your space heater too close to upholstered furniture, bedding, clothes or mattresses. Keep children and pets away from your heater and teach them to avoid it .
Combustion Space Heaters
Space heaters come in 2 types, those you plug in and those that operate with combustible propane or kerosene. Combustion heaters should only be used outdoors in well-ventilated areas. Because they give off carbon monoxide fumes, they should never be used in enclosed areas. Even tents and other outdoor situations don’t create enough ventilation to make using a combustion heater safe. They can get extremely hot and can ignite combustible items quickly.
Electric Space Heaters
Electric Space heaters can be used indoors. There are several different kinds of electric space heaters. Small space heaters are ideal for rooms around 100 sq. feet (about 10×10). They can have metal coils or ceramic encased wires. They normally have 2 settings and can operate on 1000 watts or 1500 watts. Some have oscillating fans to spread the heat over a larger area. Larger rooms are best kept warm with convection units or electric radiators because they are quieter and don’t use a fan. They can come in upright designs or baseboard heaters.
Do Space Heaters Save You Money?
Space Heaters that run off electric are more expensive to run than other heaters. The only way you can save money using a space heater is if you turn the thermostat down in other areas of the house to offset the use of the electric. This works well if you spend the majority of your time in a single room or you have a home office or workshop you need to keep warm.
Space Heater Safety – Use Space Heaters Wisely
Newer Space heaters are safer. They have grills to protect you from burns, safety thermostats that turn off when it’s too hot or the space heater tips over. Heaters for bathrooms and wet areas need to be rated for damp areas to avoid causing electrical shorts.
Space Heaters require a lot of electrical current. The cords can become hot. Don’t use an extension cord and never run the heater cord under a rug or furniture where a fire might get started. If you have to use an extension cord make sure it is rated for the load your heater has.
Be careful when you choose to use a space heater. Place it away from anything that will burn and use precaution.
If you have any safety concerns about your heating system or electrical system, call Rose Brothers and Sons Electric and they will be happy to help you. Don’t put up with annoying electrical problems when you have trusted electricians only a phone call away.