Portable space heaters are an excellent source of supplemental warmth for cold spots and drafty areas around the house. Unfortunately, these compact heating devices are also one of the leading causes of residential fires during the winter months.
Use these five space heater safety tips from Patterson Plumbing & Heating to keep warm and safe this winter season:
- Purchase a space heater with an automatic shut-off switch.
If you are in the market for a new space heater, make sure to purchase a model with an automatic shut-off switch. This feature will disconnect power if the unit is tipped over, helping to prevent accidental fires.
- Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet.
Space heaters require a significant amount of energy to operate, which is why they should always be connected directly to the wall outlet. Plugging a space heater into an extension cord can overload it and potentially spark an electrical fire.
- Place the heater on a solid, flat, dry surface.
Before turning on your space heater, make sure it is placed on a surface that is:
- Solid: using a space heater on a soft surface, such as a carpet, increases risk of fire.
- Flat: to prevent tipping over.
- Dry: wet areas such as the bathroom are no place for an electric heater.
- Maintain a three-foot “safety zone” around the heater.
Keep at least three feet of space between your space heater and furniture, curtains, bedding, and other flammable materials. Keep the heater out of reach of small children and pets.
- Never run your space heater while unattended.
Fires can happen in an instant. Never run a space heater in a vacant room, even if it is just for a few minutes.
If you have cold spots in your home, consider having your furnace professionally tuned up. Routine service can help improve heating capacity, lower energy consumption, and prevent costly breakdowns. If you live in Pueblo County, Colorado, contact Patterson Plumbing & Heating to schedule your tune-up at (719) 544-4922.