Space Heater Safety

Space Heater Safety Tips

Heating equipment caused around 57,000 home fires in 2010. These fires took 490 lives and injured more than 1,500 people. In addition, property damage due to these fires amounted to $1.1 billion. The space heater is one of the leading causes of home fires. Let’s take a look at common space heater safety tips that can prevent a fire from occurring.

Avoid Unvented Space Heaters
Never use an unvented space heater that burns fuel such as natural gas or kerosene.  They emit deadly carbon monoxide.  Manufacturers of unvented space heaters recommend opening a window and limiting usage to four hours at a time.  In practice, however, people seldom follow these guidelines.  Unvented space heaters are now outlawed in California because of the danger they pose.

Buy a High-Quality Electrical Space Heater
It is important to select a reliable electrical space heater that meets Underwriters Laboratory standards and requirements. A UL logo on the space heater ensures that the appliance has been manufactured according to UL standards. These appliances have been tested and certified by this nationally recognized testing laboratory. Appliances are supplied with user manuals and care information that should be reviewed before use. The space heater should also come with a guard surrounding the heating core. This will prevent any person, pet, or article of clothing from touching the heat source directly.

Select the Correct Size
Pick a space heater that is the appropriate size for the area that needs to be heated. Purchasing a large heater for a small place can be dangerous because the area may overheat and eventually cause the heater to overheat also. Similarly, buying a small one for a large area can put extra load on the appliance and cause it to malfunction, especially if it is left on for longer periods.

Let’s Face it:  Some People Will Use Unvented Space Heaters.
Unvented space heaters are inexpensive to buy and to use.  For this reason, people with low income tend to use them.  If you feel you must use an unvented space heater against our advice, never leave it burning when you go to bed.  Deadly carbon monoxide can build up in your system while you sleep, and you may never wake up.  Never leave an unvented space heater unattended.  Make sure the heater is completely cool before re-fueling it.  Open a window at least one inch in any room that has an unvented space heater.  This will help the heater burn more cleanly and help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

These space heater safety tips can help a family stay out of harm’s way. It is important to review these tips with everyone in the house and to show them how to use space heaters properly.

Reference: http://www.nfpa.org

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