Tips on How to Safely Use Your Space Heater

Space heater on a wooden floorThe winter is here, and so aren’t the inevitable expensive heating bills. Oftentimes, homes and offices will try to save money on their heating bill by using an alternative source, such as a space heater. While this may seem like a great idea, if you fail to use it safely, you could be putting yourself and everyone around you in danger. The National Fire Protection Agency released a report that heating equipment is the second leading cause of U.S home fires and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. Learn more about how to prevent a fire in your home and how to keep yourself safe and warm this winter.

Different Types of Space Heaters

There are two different types of space heaters that you may have or are thinking about purchasing. You can choose an electric or gas space heater. Both come with their own risks and benefits, and it is important to know them.

Electric Space Heater Safety

When you purchase one of these, make sure that you look for a safety certification from a well-known source. Look for an auto shut off feature that is beneficial for when you plan to use it long-term. If it has an auto shut off function, then it will turn off when it has been used for too long. Here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Keep 3 feet of space around the space heater.
  • Remove all flammable materials away, including curtains, bedding, and clothing.
  • Keep far away from water especially in bathrooms and kitchens.
  • NEVER use an extension cord with a space heater, there is too much power drawn from the unit or a low amp extension cord to handle.
  • Plug into a wall, but only the space heater to not overload the circuit.
  • Always keep it on the floor, specifically wood or tile.
  • Keep far away from children and pets as this can pose a fire hazard and potential burns.
  • Check for worn or frayed wires before using the heater, if you find anything wrong with it then do not use it.
  • Check to ensure your smoke detectors work: the last thing you need is for there to be a fire caused by this machine and your detectors not working.

Gas Space Heater Safety

The benefit to using a gas space heater is that you can use it when the electricity goes out. While this is great, there are many different things to look out for and rules to follow with this machine.

  • When choosing between propane and kerosene heater for indoor use, be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning threatening your home with the gas.
  • Check carbon monoxide detectors to make sure that if something goes wrong with the gas that you will be notified.
  • Allow proper ventilation; with carbon monoxide being a major factor in this situation, you need to be sure that it can be aired out.
  • Follow ALL safety instructions, even if you don’t think you need to you should always read them to make sure you are using it correctly.
  • DO NOT move heater when lit, this can pose a serious carbon monoxide and fire hazard to your home.

Have Homeowners Insurance

Should something ever go wrong in the future with space heaters malfunctioning, not being properly used, and a fire occurs, you want to be sure you have the right coverage. Homeowners insurance will be able to help protect you from an unfortunate event such as that. The last thing you want to worry about when it is freezing out is whether or not you are covered.

Now that you can see the difference between the two different types of space heaters, make sure that you choose the best suited for you and your home. If anything, ever goes wrong inside your home, you need to be sure that you are covered correctly. Contact the professionals at TJ Woods Insurance to get the best homeowners insurance. We will work with you to connect you with the best agent to help your specific needs.