Especially during a mild winter, many homeowners seek to save on heating costs by supplementing their central heating with other sources of warmth. Portable electric space heaters are a popular choice. Space heaters provide concentrated warmth that you can move around the house so that the heat stays with you. However, it’s important to be familiar with standard space heater safety tips before you start using an electric heater in your home.
Like any portable heater or other electrical appliance, space heaters can be a serious fire hazard if not used properly. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), portable heating equipment is responsible for 65,000 home fires each year. Follow these space heater safety tips to make sure your home stays toasty but not toasted this winter.
Space Heater Safety Tips
- Only purchase a space heater with a label indicating it has been tested and approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. The box should have a UL, ETL, or CSA certification symbol on it.
- Before setting up your space heater, make sure to read the warning labels and manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
- Make sure that all rooms in your house are outfitted with a working smoke alarm before using a space heater. Test existing alarms and install new ones in rooms that lack one.
- Give your space heater a quick inspection for broken or cracked plugs and loose connections before each and every use. If you find any signs of disrepair, do not use it.
- Place your space heater in a safe position within the room, on a sturdy, flat surface at least three feet away from anything flammable such as upholstery, rugs, bedding, clothing, or furniture.
- Keep space heaters out of high-traffic areas such as doorways where they will be more at risk of being knocked over.
- Plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet, not an extension cord or power strip. These devices are more likely to overheat and cause a fire.
- Never leave a space heater unattended, and never leave a child or pet unsupervised around a space heater. It is not recommended to leave a space heater on while you sleep.
- Use temperature controls to moderate a comfortable level of warmth, minimize excessive energy use, and avoid overheating.
- Unplug your space heater when you’re done using it. Do not simply turn it off.
- Don’t rely on space heaters to heat your entire house. One space heater is an efficient way to provide supplemental heat to a single room, but using multiple space heaters to heat your whole home is inefficient and ineffective.
These space heater safety tips will ensure your family stays cozy and safe this winter. However, if you feel like you’re having to rely too heavily on supplemental heat sources to keep your house comfortable during the winter, there may be an issue preventing your central heating system from adequately heating your home—or it may simply be time for a system upgrade.
At Bonfe, our first priority is to keep your and your family warm! Use this coupon to receive $200 off the installation of a new furnace or boiler.
Bonfe Quick Heat Response™ Promise:
When your furnace or boiler breaks down, we’ll be there within four hours with electric heaters to keep you warm until your furnace is repaired. If we’re not there within 4 hours, we’ll pay you $100.