Heating equipment such as space heaters are the 2nd leading cause of house fires in the U.S. Every year, more than 65,000 home fires are caused by heating equipment, resulting in millions of dollars in property damage, thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. Common causes of shock and fire hazard from space heaters include space heaters without adequate safety features, improperly plugged in space heaters and heaters placed near combustible or flammable materials.
Space Heater Safety
A space heater can be an effective and easy way to supplement the heat in your home or to specific rooms, when used properly. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe while using a space heater.
1. Inspect heater for cracked wires, broken or damaged plugs and loose connections before each use.
2. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Don't use a power strip or extension cord with a space heater as it can overheat and cause a fire. Also, don't plug other electronics or appliances into the same outlet as a space heater.
3. Always unplug the heater and store away when not in use.
4. Never leave a space heater unattended. If you leave the room or go to bed, turn the space heater off first.
5. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
6. Keep space heater at least 3 feet away from anything combustible or flammable such as paper, clothing, drapery and rugs.
7. Place the space heater on a level, flat surface. Never place the space heater on a cabinet, furniture, table or carpet, all of which can overheat and result in a fire.
8. Keep the space heater out of high traffic areas and doorways to avoid creating a tripping hazard.
9. Never use a space heater to thaw pipes, in a crawl space, to warm clothing/bedding or to cook food.
10. Read all warnings and review the instruction manual carefully. Also make sure your space heater is listed by a reputable testing laboratory such as UL.
Space heaters can be a simple supplement to your heating system to warm up specific rooms or take the chill out of a particularly chilly day. They can be safe and effective when used properly and according to instructions. The problems arise when people use space heaters in a way that isn't intended or don't follow these basic safety measures. If you have on-going problems with uneven heating and find yourself over-relying on a space heater, give CCS a call to explore whether a zoned system might be a fit for you and your home.