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Space Heater Safety Tips

November 17th, 2017 No comments

Space Heater Safety Tips

Staying Safe When Using a Portable Space Heater

As the winter chill settles in portable space heaters can be a quick way to heat up a room. However, they can be as dangerous as they are convenient if used improperly. Space heaters cause 25,000 home fires a year, and 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health & Safety group.

The National Fire Protection Association states that approximately one-third of all house fires nationwide occur between December and February and space heaters are the leading cause of these fires.

space heatersPortable Space Heater Home Safety Tips
To keep your family and home safe follow these recommendations when using portable heaters of any type.

  • Purchase only space heaters that are safety tested and UL approved. Make sure it is equipped with an emergency tip-over shut-off feature and heating element guards.Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions for operation and care.
  • Before using a space heater, make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working condition.
  • Don’t place heaters in high-traffic areas.  Set them on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface—not on carpets, furniture or countertops.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet from combustible liquids like fuel, spray cans and paint, as well as flammable items such as draperies, blankets and sofas.
  • Space Heaters Need SpaceNever allow pets or children near an electric heater. Accidental contact could result in serious shock or burns.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. If you must – use a grounded #12 gauge cord that is just long enough to do the job.
  • Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended. Turn off your space heater and unplug it before leaving the room or going to bed. Do not leave your heater running overnight while you sleep.
  • Do not use space heaters in homes with wiring systems that have not been upgraded to 3 wire grounded circuits and modern toggle style breakers.  We find these in older homes whose old electrical systems were not designed for these kinds of loads.
  • Ideally space heaters should be used on 20 amp circuits that do not share power with the lighting system or other electrical loads.
  • If the heater keeps tripping the circuit, then don’t “force” the breaker back into reset.  It is tripping for a reason indicating a potentially larger problem.

Artisan Electric logoNeed Some Advice
If you have any questions on how to safely use space heaters in your home or office, give us a call at 765-414-3913 – we would be happy to discuss your electrical requirements.