Tips to use the space heater safely, reduce the risk of fire

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Winter is coming, which means cold days are ahead. If you don’t have a reliable radiator, heat source, or just don’t want the heat to run all day, you may want more than just snuggling up in a winter coat or snuggling up under a thermal blanket.

A convenient and inexpensive way that many homes can keep a specific area or room warm is by using a Heater. And while space heaters can keep you warm, they’re not without their risks.

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According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is the leading cause of fires in the United States. are associated with more than 25,000 home fires and 300 deaths per yearaccording to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

When using a space heater, it’s critical to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as well as the expert guidance provided by resources such as the United States Department of Energy. Here are some space heater safety tips to keep in mind when using a space heater.

►Related: Are space heaters safe? Simple mistakes can easily start a deadly fire, experts warn

1. Know how your space heater works

Knowledge is power, and that goes for understanding how your space heater actually generates heat. Some of the main types of space heaters available include mica heaters, fan-forced ceramic heaters, and oil-filled convection heaters, as well as those that use infrared technology.

Fan Forced Ceramic Heaters blow hot air onto a ceramic plate. This makes them a great candidate for heating a particular spot or small room, but not necessarily an entire basement. Ceramic heaters also work quickly, pumping out hot air as soon as they are turned on. While the product casing itself may be safe to touch with some models, be sure to avoid touching the extremely hot grill.

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A mica space heater It is an energy efficient option since it works as a convection heater and part radiant. You can mount this almost silent beauty on the wall of your room.

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If you’re looking to heat an entire room, you might want to check out oil filled convection heaters; these work similarly to oil heaters in older homes. While they work nice and quiet, they are very hot to the touch all around and may not be the best choice if you have small children or pets.

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infrared heaters—sometimes called quartz heaters—use the heat beam to direct heat, rather than create general heat in a room. Its top and sides are usually cool to the touch. Because this heater uses infrared heat instead of moving air, it doesn’t dry out a room like other space heaters do.

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Understand what type of space heater you own and What the operation of your space heater can give you a better idea of ​​the safety risks involved. Be sure to carefully read the warning labels and information provided by the manufacturer for your particular model.

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2. Always monitor your space heaters

NFPA experts recommend staying in the room while using a space heater there and closely monitoring it. This means never using a space heater while you sleep or leaving it on when you leave the room. Leaving a space heater unattended increases the chance of creating a fire hazard that cannot be stopped immediately.

When you’re done using your space heater, be sure to turn it off completely and unplug it. If your home is properly insulated, a space heater can keep a room fairly warm, even after it’s turned off. You may not get hot all day, but you will be much safer.

3. Give space and stability to your heater

For fire safety reasons, the NFPA suggests leaving at least a 3 foot gap between a heater and anything that can burn, such as rugs, upholstery, curtains, paper, or blankets.

Make sure your heater is secured on a solid, flat floor or hardwood surface so it will not accidentally tip over or fall.

Also, keep your space heater away from anything, regardless of whether it’s considered flammable or not. This will also allow space heaters to work more efficiently.

4. Keep heaters warm to the touch away from people and pets

NFPA’s 3-foot spacing rule also applies to people and pets. Do not place a heater in a high-traffic area or hallway; this way you (or your children or fur babies) won’t walk or run towards it.

Some space heaters can be wall-mounted, which can help keep them out of the reach of pets and children. For example, you can permanently set the De’Longhi MicaThermic heating panel to a wall

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5. Make sure there is an auto power off feature

One of the most important features a heater can have is an auto-off safety feature. With this feature, heaters can automatically turn off if imminent danger is detected. This means that if the heater starts to overheat internally or tips over for any reason, the device implements an automatic shutdown to prevent any kind of fire sparks as a result.

we have tried a lot of space heaters in Reviewed, based on functionality and security. Our best overall space heater, the De’Longhi MicaThermic heating panelIncludes an auto power off function. the Lasko ceramic heaterRated our best value space heater, it also comes with automatic overheat protection to ensure any potential fire hazards are mitigated before they become a problem.

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6. Never, ever plug a space heater into a power strip.

When it comes to starting your space heater, the US Department of Energy recommends always plugging it directly into your power outletavoiding the use of any power strip or extension cable.

A typical space heater puts out up to 1500 watts of power, so using it with an extension cord, which can’t handle the same wattage as a wall outlet, is a dangerous idea.

7. Test your smoke detectors regularly

In your house, condominium or apartment, you should always have updated and working smoke detectors. Since heaters have an inherent risk of overheating and fire, it’s a good idea to test your smoke detectors and make sure they are working properly before you begin using your heater.

you should too test your smoke detectors once a month to ensure that the batteries continue to function properly, even after the heater has been stored. Please note that the NFPA recommends replace your smoke detectors every 10 years, regardless of condition.

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Prices were accurate at the time of publication of this article, but may change over time.


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