Space Heaters and Safety
Space heater fires account for almost 50 percent of home heating fires. In mere minutes blankets, nearby furniture and any other flammable items can catch on fire if near a space heater. Most fire safety specialists suggest heating up a room for two to three hours before you sleep and then turning it off.
Space heaters are only safe to place on a solid surface floor such as wood, laminate, vinyl, or tile. Never place a space heater on top of an area rug. They can trap heat and ignite if the area gets too hot. Do not use an extension cord or power strip due to them overheating and resulting in a fire. Place space heaters directly into a wall outlet.
Remember that space heaters are typically used to supplement a main heating source. This helps when heating one main room instead of an entire home, especially for those that are cold sensitive. When looking to purchase a space heater be sure it has a guard around the heating element. This will help with kids and pets from getting burned. You can purchase one with a safety switch that will automatically turn the heater off if accidentally turned over. Thermostat controlled for saving energy is another feature to consider.
Establish a 3-foot safety zone around the space heater. You should put 3 - feet away from walls, and make sure all combustible materials are at least 3 feet away as well. Never leave running space heater unattended. Be sure to turn off and unplug when leaving the room or going to sleep. Teach children that parts of the heater can become extremely hot, and they need to stay away.
Practice safety! Do a routine check to determine whether the heater plug, cord, or wall outlet is getting hot. Limit the number of appliances running at the same time as to avoid a circuit overload. Before using your space heater read the manual and follow all manufacturer's instructions. If lost, you can locate on-line under the make and model.
Practicing safety will go a long way. You can keep your home, kids, and pets safe while staying warm. Follow simple rules and teach your children the risk of fires and what to do in case of a fire. SERVPRO of the Quad Cities wishing you a safe, warm, and wonderful winter season.