Portable and Safe Heaters: What you need to know
Space heaters are excellent at keeping a space warm, whether on a chilly winter night up north or during an early autumn cold snap. But one of the most important considerations with portable space heaters is safety. Here are some tips to keep the safe heart. Heaters should be kept away from pets and children, especially without adult supervision. Do not leave heaters unattended–even while you sleep.
If you’re planning to buy a space heater, be certain you follow these essential safety tips from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Space Heater Placement
It is very important to look for safe heaters to use. However, even if you are using the safest electric space heater, you need to know how to place them properly around the house. You have to make sure that your heater is placed at least three feet from flammable objects. The safest space heater should not be placed on top of any furniture as it can lead to leaks or damage. You have to make sure that your heater is not placed outside of the house. Even if you are cleaning the house, don’t leave them outside. Always make sure you have the right home insurance in case someone is injured in your home.
According to the CPSC, combustible material, like paper, curtains, clothing, and other flammable items should be kept at least three feet from the heater at all times. Only use space heaters on tabletops when specified by the unit’s manufacturer. Do not run the heater’s cord under carpeting or rugs, as this can gradually wear down the cord and potentially lead to a fire hazard. Choose a heater that’s an appropriate size for the room you intend to use it in. The DOE reported that most space heaters come with a general sizing table that will help you determine whether a unit is a good fit for a room. Keep the heater on a level surface where it can’t tip over.
Look for Safety Features
The safety of space heaters will also depend on the built-in safety features that they have. Safe heaters usually have an overheat protection that would detect when the internal components are too hot. It will shut down the unit automatically. Tip-over protection will protect the heater when it suddenly tipped over. The device will shut down automatically. They should also have cool-touch housing that would prevent burns when you hold the exterior of the heater. Stick to new models of heaters that are up-to-date with the latest safety features. The heater should also carry a label from either UL, ETL, or CSA, safety consulting and certification companies. Invest in a heater with safety features such as automatic overheat protection, cool-touch exterior, a self-regulating ceramic element, or a tip-over safety switch.
Plug Directly to an Outlet
You should always plug the heaters directly to an outlet to prevent fires and overheating. Safe heaters usually have protection from this, but it is better to plug them directly than putting them on an extension cord. Never use extension cords or power strips with heaters. Units should be plugged directly into wall sockets. It’s very important to ensure that the heater’s plug fits tightly into the wall socket, as loose plugs can lead to electrical problems and heater malfunctions. If the heater’s plug, cord, wall outlet, or faceplate is unusually warm or hot, stop using the heater and call a qualified electrician or speak with the heater’s manufacturer.
Inspect and Maintain Regularly
Read the manufacturer’s instructions and any warning labels before first using it. Even if you have a safe space heater for bedroom, you still need to inspect the unit regularly. There are also some maintenance tips that you can do to make sure that it will always work properly and efficiently.
Unplug if Not in Use
If you are not using your heaters, make sure that it is always turned off and unplugged, especially if you have pets. Although you can find the safest space heaters for pets, it is still better if you always turn them off when not in use. Pets are always curious and to prevent any accidents, turn the heaters off and unplug them.
Don’t Put the Heaters Near Water
Heaters are not designed to be placed on damp spaces, especially in areas near water. Heaters are usually placed in bedrooms and living rooms and they are not meant for bathrooms or in the kitchen. A heater is an electrical appliance and it is totally different from a water heater. You should never place it near the bathroom or sink. You should never touch it when you are wet as well since it might cause an electric shock. Keep electric heaters away from water and avoid touching them with wet hands.
Space heaters are great appliances to have around to quickly take the chill out of a room, but they require some basic vigilance and smart use. Get a heater that fits with your home and lifestyle.