Space Heater Safety Tips
Space heaters can be a useful addition to the home.
They give you the option to heat one room rather than the entire house, which can result in lower utility bills. Space heaters, like any other home appliance, require proper use and handling. Below are a few simple tips to safely enjoy your space heater for many winters to come.
Select a High-Quality Heater
Only use a heater that has been inspected and certified by a well-known testing agency. In theUnited States, you will often see mentioned on the packaging and the paperwork that the heater meets the standards of the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). If the paperwork is not available on a second-hand space heater that you’re considering purchasing, perform internet research to make sure the heater has passed the proper safety review. When shopping on the internet for a heater, be suspicious of units that ship from countries where stringent codes to protect consumers are not in place. It is also not a good idea to purchase a unit whose operating instructions appear only in languages that you don’t understand.
Look For Safety Features
A quality space heater will include built-in sensors that detect a problem and immediately switch off the unit. Selecting a heater with safety features reduces the likelihood of fires and burn injuries.
Some of the situations that safety sensors can detect include the following:
The heater falls over. More sensitive units will shut down even if the unit doesn’t fall, but
receives a collision hard enough to tilt it.
The unit gets hotter than it should.
There’s not enough oxygen in the room.
Choose the Correct Size of Heater for the Job
It’s tempting to get a small heater to save money. However, a small heater has to work longer and harder to raise the temperature of the room. But overworked small heaters pose a danger because of having to operate at much higher temperatures.
Put Your Heater in the Proper Setting
The standard rule of thumb is to keep a diameter of three feet of space around your heater. Resist the temptation to move the unit closer to flammable material such as bedding, upholstery, or drapery.
If the manufacturer of your heater does not specify that the unit is safe near water, don’t operate it in the bathroom or similar areas where there’s the possibility of the heater encountering moisture. Most heaters are built to sit on the floor. Don’t place your heater on tables or other objects unless the manufacturer says that it’s safe to do so.
Plug In Carefully
The standard design for a space heater calls for you to plug it directly into a wall outlet. Manufacturers will warn against using extension cords. They can overheat.
Of course, sometimes a wall outlet isn’t conveniently located. Nevertheless, resist the urge to use an extension cord. The manufacturer knows the results of laboratory tests with extension cords and is warning you for a valid reason.
Monitor the Room
It doesn’t hurt to keep a close eye on even the best space heater. Install a smoke detector in the room where you use the heater, and check the batteries twice a year. If your space heater burns fuel such as kerosene or propane, you’ll want to install an additional detector—a carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, so it’s important to keep a detector in good working order.It’s also important to always have a window or door partially open when you’re using a fuel- burning space heater that doesn’t vent to the outside.
Do you have additional questions concerning the safe use of space heaters? Ask a trained
professional at HVAC Philly.
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