As the colder months approach with speed, your thoughts will likely be turning towards heating your home, condo or apartment in the most economical ways possible. For this reason, rather than heating an entire house, condominium or apartment, you might opt to just heat one room, using an electric space heater.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of fire deaths in the home is via heating equipment. Of these fatalities, half are reported during the months of December to February.
If you’re thinking of buying a new portable heater, or you’re considering blowing the cobwebs off your old one in preparation for the temperature dropping, it’s important to keep various factors in mind.
These simple steps can often prevent heater-related fires from beginning.
- Keep kids and animals at least three feet away from all portable heaters.
- Keep anything remotely flammable at least three feet out of the way of a portable heater.
- Place the heater on a level surface before use, where it can’t be knocked over.
- Turn portable space heaters off before leaving the room, going out, or going to bed.
- Avoid using a heater that is, or could be, damaged
- Avoid running the cord under any carpeting or rugs, as this can damage the cord, and cause a fire.
- Keep the heater away from water. This includes not touching the heater when you’re wet
- Avoid powering the heater with a power strip or an extension cord.
- Check that the heater plug fits into the wall socket tightly.
- Check to see if the heater cord, plug, faceplate, or outlet is hot, and if it is, stop using the heater straight away, and get it check out by an electrician
- Ensure smoke alarms are tested at least once a month
- Check that it’s been safety-certified first before buying an electric portable heater
Fire safety is an incredibly important consideration where portable space heaters, or any heaters for that matter, are concerned, as these high wattage appliances have great potential to ignite anything combustible that’s close by.
As stated in a recent Consumer Product Safety Commission Alert, the organization has estimated that between 2008, and 2010, portable electric heaters caused as many as 1,200 fires annually. Through following the tips, and advice above, you can ensure you stay warm as safely as possible this cold season.