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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Stay Warm and Safe: Top Tips to Reduce Space Heater Fires in Your Home or Business

4/20/2023 (Permalink)

Space heaters can be a convenient and cost-effective way to warm up a room during cold weather, but they can also pose a fire hazard if not used properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for one-third of all home heating fires and 80% of home heating fire deaths. To keep your home or business safe, follow these tips to reduce space heater fires.

Choose a safe location

Keep space heaters on a level, non-flammable surface, at least three feet away from combustible materials such as curtains, bedding, and furniture. Do not place them on carpets or rugs, and avoid placing them in high-traffic areas where they can be bumped or knocked over.

Check for safety features

Make sure your space heater has safety features such as automatic shut-off switches, tip-over switches, and overheat protection. These features can prevent fires and protect your home or business.

Read the manual

Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully and follow them. The manual will tell you how to safely use and maintain your space heater, including information on safe distances, recommended wattage, and cleaning.

Don't leave it unattended

Never leave a space heater unattended. If you leave the room or go to bed, turn off the space heater and unplug it. This is especially important for gas-powered space heaters, which can produce carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated.

Keep children and pets away

Children and pets can accidentally knock over a space heater or get burned by its hot surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters, and do not use space heaters in rooms where children or pets are unsupervised.

Don't overload electrical circuit

Space heaters can be a high-wattage appliance, so make sure you don't overload electrical circuits. Do not plug other electrical devices into the same outlet as your space heater, and do not use extension cords or power strips with your space heater.

Maintain your space heater

Keep your space heater clean and well-maintained. Dust and debris can build up in the heater, reducing its efficiency and increasing the risk of fire. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance, and have your space heater serviced by a professional if necessary.

Replace old or damaged space heaters

If your space heater is old, damaged, or not working properly, replace it. Old space heaters may not have the same safety features as newer models, and damaged or malfunctioning space heaters can pose a fire hazard.

By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of space heater fires in your home or business. Remember to always use space heaters safely and responsibly, and never leave them unattended. If you have any questions or concerns about using a space heater, consult the manufacturer's instructions or a professional electrician. Stay safe and warm this winter!

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