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Space Heater Safety Tips to Prevent Home Fires

If you’ve noticed that your living room just isn’t getting as warm as you would like, you may be considering buying a space heater. This is a great way to get supplemental heat for your living room without having to turn up your whole-home thermostat. However, space heaters can be dangerous when not utilized correctly. Here are some necessary safety protocols that you’ll want to follow when using your new space heater.

Get One That Is Certified

There are consumer safety testing organizations that will issue certifications for appliances that they have tested and have assured to be safe for consumers. When picking out your new space heater, you’ll want to ensure that it has one of these safety certifications. The three most popular you’ll find are UL, ETL, and CSA.

Plug Into a Wall Outlet Only

When you first plug your space heater in, you’ll want to put it directly into a wall outlet. Avoid using an extension cord or even a power strip. These items may not be rated to handle the power draw that your space heater demands, which could result in burning up your extension cord or power strip. You should also avoid plugging anything else into the second outlet in the wall receptacle as you don’t want to overload the circuit.

Place It Out of the Way

While it may be tempting to place your space heater directly in front of where you’re going to be sitting, that’s not the best option. Rather, you’ll want to place your space heater where it’s away from normal walking traffic. Be sure that the cord is also out of the way. Resist trying to hide it under your carpet as it could not only cause a tripping hazard but also result in overheating the cord.

Follow the 3-Foot Rule

Make sure that you pay attention to what’s around the area where you place your space heater. Anything that is flammable should be at least 3 feet away from the unit. Common flammable items include carpeting, curtains, and furniture. Any flammable item that is too close to the space heater can end up overheating and catching fire.

Look Over Your Space Heater Routinely

You should be looking over your space heater every time you go to plug it into the wall. Make sure that the cord doesn’t have any bare wiring and that it’s firmly attached to the unit. Look over the entire unit housing to ensure that there are no cracks developing. You should never use a space heater that is not in good condition as it can increase your risk of experiencing a home fire.

Say No to Water

Water should never mix with items that use electricity. When it comes to your space heater, you want to avoid putting it near any water in your home. This means it can’t go in the bathrooms or the kitchen. You’ll even want to avoid putting a space heater in your basement if it takes on water from time to time.

Don’t Use It for Other Household Purposes

Space heaters are specifically designed to provide heat for your home. You should not use them to blow air at laundry that needs drying. You shouldn’t put them under frozen pipes that will leak water as they melt. And you should by no means try and cook with your space heater.

Take Advantage of New Features

The danger of older space heaters is no joke. In fact, many space heater manufacturers have developed new safety features to help make their heaters safer to operate. Overheat protection is a great addition that will automatically shut your space heater off if it senses that its internal components are getting too hot.

Tip-over protection is another great safety feature that will shut your space heater off in the event that it senses that it has fallen over. Newer space heater designs even include a cool-touch feature that keeps the outside of the unit cool so that you don’t burn yourself if you accidentally touch the unit when it’s running.

Reliable Heating Service

Travis Crawford Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing is here for all of your heating system needs in the Charlotte, NC, area. We also offer AC repair, maintenance, and installation, heat pump, water heater, indoor air quality, ductless mini-split, and air duct services. Call our office today to schedule your next service consultation with our expert technicians.

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