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Space Heater Safety Tips

Space Heater Safety

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are responsible for 43 percent of house fires.

The autumn days in Western New York may create a chill throughout your home, but you may not be quite ready to turn on your furnace for the season. It’s hard to give up the idea that air conditioning weather is gone for the year, and take the leap by turning on your furnace. Many people turn to space heaters as a way to keep their homes warm while they hold out as long as they can to officially start up their furnace for the year. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are responsible for 43 percent of house fires and 81 percent of home heating fire deaths. Safety should always be a top priority when using space heaters, so we are going to review some space heater safety tips.

What is a space heater?

A space heater is a device usually used to heat a single, small area. Space heaters differ from central heating systems, as space heaters are meant for smaller and typically enclosed spaces. There are different types of space heaters, with the majority being some type of electric heater.

Types of electric space heaters:

Oil or water-filled radiator: Heated oil or water travels through the heater.
Fan-forced heater: A fan blows warm air over metal coils.
Ceramic heater: Air is warmed over a ceramic heating element.
Infrared heaters: Heat is created by infrared bulbs.

Safety is a top concern when using space heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

What are some space heater safety tips?

Because space heaters, can pose a safety risk to you, your family, and your Buffalo, New York home, you should take some precautions if using one of these devices for warmth.

The NFPA recommends the following:

– Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
– Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people.
– Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
– Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
– Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
– Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic.
– Never block an exit.
– Keep children away from the space heater.
– Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
– Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.

Some other space heater safety tips provided by ESFi are:

– Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
– Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
– Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

Whether you are using a space heater to prolong turning on your furnace for the season, or to simply warm a space that is cooler than most in your home, you should take proper precautions and follow space heater safety tips.

When it comes to keeping your entire home warm this fall and winter, your furnace is your best option. Reimer Home Services is here for all of your Buffalo heating needs. We are experts when it comes to furnaces and boilers.

We fix, service, and replace furnaces and boilers here in Buffalo and Western New York. Since 1921, local homeowners have trusted Reimer with their home’s heating service needs. Has your furnace stopped working? Call us. We’re available 24/7 to help. We don’t charge our customers extra for service on nights or weekends. Plus, all of our repairs come backed by our 2-year warranty.

When you need heating services here in Buffalo and Erie County, call your local furnace professionals at Reimer Home Services.