Space Heater Safety Tips
Here in Edmonton, space heaters are a wonderful and necessary winter companion. They help to make up for inconsistent heating patterns in the home, and they can be very energy efficient. While space heaters are a very convenient source of supplemental heat, they can also pose a significant fire and electric shock hazard if not used correctly.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (esfi.org), more than 65,000 residential fires every year are associated with heating equipment. These fires result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. To properly, and safely, use a space heater in your home it’s important to know how to keep it free from the potential hazards. Make sure you and your loved ones stay safe and warm this winter with these space heater safety tips from esfi.org.
- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory. Look for Omni and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) among others.
- Before using, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep, and don’t let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
- Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
- Make sure space heaters are placed at least three feet away from anything that can melt or burn.
- Keep space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
- Never use an extension cord or power strip. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet.
- Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Space heaters can be an efficient way to heat the cooler parts of your home without turning up the heat in the entire house. They are also a great way to add supplemental heat for family members that are more sensitive to the cold.
Before making space heaters a staple appliance in your home this winter, go over these guidelines with your family. Make sure everyone knows how to safely use them and what to do in case of an emergency. Space heaters should not be used as a primary source of heat. If you suddenly find your heater on the fritz this winter, don’t wait until it quits completely. Call Always Plumbing & Heating at 780-489-8118 (Edmonton) or 587-601-1253 (Fort McMurray) to schedule an appointment today!