A space heater provides an energy efficient way of heating your house while saving up on the electricity bills. It is a convenient heating option owing to its portability. A space heater can effectively warm up the room in no time and can generate and distribute enough heat evenly to keep you comfortable.
A space heater comes with a host of features that include temperature adjustments, heat settings, fan speeds, remote control and so on. It does away with the problems of inconsistent heating and is, therefore, a desirable heating option for many families. However, the downside is that heating equipment such as space heaters account for a large number of fire accidents resulting in numerous casualties and major injuries.
It is important to follow certain safety precautions in order to eliminate possibilities of fire resulting from a space heater. Let’s take a look at some of these in details.
Choose a Certified Space Heater
Space heaters are usually tested by certified laboratories to meet the safety standards. It is important to check for these certifications while buying a space heater since these certifications ensure that the space heater is safe to use.
Apart from that, space heaters come with manufacturer’s instructions that specify certain guidelines for safe usage. You should go through and implement these in order to eliminate any possible fire hazard.
Check for Safety Features
The space heaters available in the market come with a plethora of built-in safety features. While buying one for your house, it is advisable to check for these. Some of these features include the following:
- Overheat protection
- Auto shut-off
- Tilt-over safety switch
- A stable base
The tilt-over or tip-over safety switch comes in handy especially if you have children or pets at home. It shuts off the heater automatically if it is tipped over. Apart from this, the overheat protection is an extremely useful safety feature. This mechanism uses temperature sensors to detect the temperature of the internal components of the heater and the auto shut-off switches it off as soon as it rises to an unsafe level.
Inspect Your Space Heater Regularly
You should clean your space heater regularly to ensure that it is in a properly running condition. This way, you would not only be able to make sure that it is working safely but would also be able to detect signs of damage, if any, at an early stage. Such early detection of defects can reduce accidents considerably.
Keep the Space Heater Away from Flammable Items
Space heaters should always be kept away from flammable materials. These may include clothing, bedding, papers, rugs etc. Always keep a distance of at least 3 feet between the space heater and those materials. Avoid placing the space heater on a carpet since it may get heated up and result in a fire.
In addition to this, it is crucial to place space heaters in proper positions that do not encounter high traffic in your house. Make sure that the clearance radius is large to avoid overheating of materials and the risk of fire. Also, keep the space heater away from water.
Avoid Using Extension Cords
Always plug your space heater directly into the wall outlet instead of using power strips or extension cords. This is because extension cords may get overheated and turn into a fire hazard. It may also cause injuries from electric shock. Ensure that the wall outlet has a sufficient capacity to support the space heater.
Other Safety Measures
While using a space heater, ensure that your home is well-ventilated to avoid any pollutant buildup. Install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your house. Do not forget to switch off the space heater when not in use. Ensure that your family members know how to operate a space heater and the dangers associated with it.
According to a research conducted by NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), space heaters account for 40% of house fires that have resulted in 84% of casualties, 75% of injuries and 52% of property damage. Therefore, it is crucial to follow the safety measure to keep such accidents at bay. If you or your loved one has been a victim of a fire accident in Houston, a competent Houston fire investigation agency can help you detect the cause of the fire.