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Staying Safe with Space Heaters

Posted on 01-16-2015

Staying Safe with Space Heaters

People often look for additional heating sources during the cold winter months.  Space heaters tend to be a popular option for many households, but these devices need to be used with caution. If you use a space heater, we recommend the following tips for safe heating.

Purchase space heaters that are certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory to ensure the heater meets all safety standards (look for the UL mark).  Many older models will not meet such standards, so it is advisable to invest in a newer model.  Also, make sure the heater is appropriate for the size of the room to be used in.  Read the manual for recommendations specific to your space heater.

Place your space heater on a level, non-flammable floor.  Avoid placing on rugs or furniture.  Keep the heater at least three feet from flammable materials such as curtains or bedding.  The bathroom is not a safe place to use a space heater or any area that could expose the device to water.

Cords can cause fires.  Do not hide cords under rugs, carpet or anything flammable.  Never use an extension cord on a space heater - this is a fire hazard.  Check the cord occassionally for any damage or fraying.  Make sure the plug has a firm fit into the outlet and does not feel hot to the touch, signaling overheating.

Do not run your space heater all day.  It is a device meant for temporary use, not to heat your home in place of a furnace.  Do not run overnight while you are sleeping.  Remember to unplug the unit when you leave the house.  Before storing the heater, make sure it has had time to cool off.

By following these guidelines, you can keep your home warm and safe during the frigid days of winter.

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