It’s coming. You can probably feel it right now.

That’s right. Winter! Brrr! For some across the country, this means trying to keep warm and snug in the home.

Some find comfort from their fireplaces. Others might use electric blankets. And others rely on space heaters, either gas powered or electric, to boost the comfort level their regular heating system can’t always provide, especially in sub-zero temperatures.

Space heater safety is very important, as many suffer from accidental fires and burns annually from these necessary devices.

The first consideration is which type of space heater you will choose. Electric models are considered safer than those which use fuel, which can be overturned and quickly cause a fire difficult to extinguish. So be smart when shopping and consider how the heater will be used and if there are children or pets (or clumsy adults) that might tip it over.

Safety features

  • Consider the size and shape of the heater. Lower-profile heaters are more difficult to tip over. Some space heaters are shaped like a tower, and can easily be tipped. Avoid those.

 

  • While all space heaters should have an automatic turn-off mechanism if tipped over, still do your research and ensure yours has one.

 

  • If you have children or pets, an outer grill safety feature should be mandatory. You don’t want accidental contact burns to occur.

Safety tips

  • Measure the area you wish to heat and make sure the device you purchase is sufficient for the space. An overworked heater can be dangerous. And one that is too large for a room can overheat the room and be uncomfortable.

 

  • When purchasing a fuel-fired heater, never fill it while the device is on. Open flames are dangerous. Use appropriate, approved containers to carry the fuel.

 

  • When purchasing an electric heater, make sure it is plugged into a three-prong outlet that is grounded. Any extension cords you use must be able to handle the current your heater will need. Be sure to ask an expert about this.

 

  • Common sense dictates keeping any flammable materials away from the heater, such as furnishing, draperies, etc.

 

  • When you turn the heater off, give it plenty of time to cool down before touching or moving it.

But if anything does happen, such as a fire or smoke damage, then it’s time to get some professional help. Call your disaster restoration experts. After all, it pays to call a pro!


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