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5 Tips On How To Safely Use A Space Heater

While space heaters provide much needed warmth for the winter season, did you know that according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are involved in more than 1,000 home fires every single year? The National Fire Protection Association also puts that figure into a more understandable context, noting that space heaters are responsible for 43% of home heating-related fires. This includes items like water heaters, and fireplaces. The NFPA also states that space heaters are responsible for 85% of associated deaths!

Despite the numbers above, many space heaters include safety features that they once did not have. While space heaters are still a heating element they still come with risks much greater than other appliances such as air purifiers and box fans. It’s important to research space heaters that are approved by an independent safety testing laboratory such as Intertek (ETL) or UL. Organizations such as these are responsible for ensuring that those space heaters have built in safety features, such as a thermal shutoff switch.

Here are a few ways you can ensure that you or your home do not become one of the above statistics: 

Put your space heater on the floor – and leave it there! 

Though it may seem tempting, never place your space heater on any other surface that isn’t your floor. By placing your space heater on the flattest, smoothest surface available, you can reduce your risks of any accidents happening significantly! Most space heaters today do come with a tip-over safety switch. While that should provide some comfort, never risk it!

Keep your space heater away from water, or water prone areas. 

Though you may enjoy putting a space heater inside your bathroom during the winter months, DON’T. Water and electricity just don’t mix! So unless they are designed and approved for that type of use, (which most are not) it’s well advised to keep your space heater out of wet locations such as your bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens.

Avoid flammable objects, and always keep 3 feet between your space heater and such items. 

The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) often refers to this as the ‘3-foot rule’ and it’s that simple! Avoid using your space heater within 3 feet of anything flammable. Items that are often listed are; curtains, papers, furniture, pillows, blankets, other bedding, etc. The AHAM (The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers) also recommends a few further precautions such as keeping any flammable materials like paint and matches just as far away from your space heater.

Keep your space heater away from small children and babies. 

Though our children love to snuggle up to the warmth, it’s important to keep them at a safe distance from any space heater, even if it has safety features such as a cool touch front or an automatic turn off switch for accidental tip overs. Never leave a space heater unattended in a child’s room, instead dress them appropriately for the weather. Long sleeves, long pants, or pajamas are a great way to add warmth to your child without posing any risk to their well-being. If you need more information on children and space heaters, please visit the U.S. Fire Administration‘s website. There you can read statistics, as well as review other tips such as the ‘3-foot rule’.

Never leave your space heater alone in the room unattended.

There’s no telling what kind of trouble it can get into – or how much money it can cost you for fire damages, and total losses! Accidental knock-overs, as well as electrical shortages, are both quick ways for a fire to happen within your East Texas home.

Contact 1st Call Restoration today for any of your water damage restoration needs! 

1st Call Restoration is located within East Texas, and is your most comprehensive source for all your residential and commercial restoration service needs. Give us a call today at 903-287-6400, 24/7 to learn about how our highly trained team of water mitigation professionals can assist you in restoring your home, life, and peace of mind.