Winter will be here before we know it, and as the temperature drops, many homeowners are looking for ways to stay warm. Space heaters are an excellent way to heat a small room in a pinch—but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) found that heating appliances are responsible for 65,000 home fires each year. Read on for some tips on how to stay safe while using a space heater.
Never Leave a Space Heater Unattended
Just like candles, space heaters should never be left unattended—and that includes while you’re sleeping, even if your heater has an automatic shut-off. Turn off and unplug your space heater when it is not in use.
Keep Your Space Heater 3 Feet Away From Other Objects
Place your space heater on a level surface away from high-traffic areas to avoid tripping over the cord. Leave at least 3 feet of space between your space heater and any combustible materials such as bedding, curtains, furniture, books, etc. to reduce the risk of fire. Do not cover your space heater with clothing, blankets, or other items.
Do Not Use a Space Heater in Wet Conditions
It goes without saying, but water and electricity do not mix. Do not use a space heater in areas where water is present, even if the floor seems dry at the time.
Regularly Inspect Electrical Cords
Frayed or damaged electrical cords are a significant hazard. Inspect appliance cords for signs of wear and tear, and discontinue use if the cord or outlet is hot to the touch. While you’re at it, remember to test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, too!
Always Plug a Space Heater Directly Into The Wall
Timers, extension cords, and power bars are not designed for the wattage requirements of appliances, including space heaters. Always plug appliances directly into the wall, and never use outlets that are loose or wobbly.
Do Not Use a Fuel-Powered Space Heater Indoors
Fuel-powered space heaters emit carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and often fatal—the CDC estimates that more than 400 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.
At JDP Electric, safety is our top priority. We’re happy to help homeowners with their electrical needs, including adding new outlets, whole-home surge protection, lighting, and more. Visit our website or call (701) 232-1991 to learn more about our services.