Now that the cooler weather has officially arrived, the majority of Cuyahoga County residents are turning to their electrical blankets, gas heaters, and space heaters for warmth, especially at night. As electricians, we can’t help but think about the conveniences, but also the dangers associated with space heaters during this time of year.
Space heaters are arguably, incredible luxuries during the winter, but we must respect them. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), “Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are attributed to heating equipment each year.” At what cost? The ESFI reports that these home fires lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.
Safety Always Comes First
At Green Home Solutions, our team has families of our own and we get it, space heaters are extremely convenient and can be ideal for heating areas of the home that get insufficient heat. They can warm up our kids so they can sleep comfortably, and even our beloved pets! Unfortunately, space heaters can be deadly if they aren’t used right. They not only pose fire hazards, but they pose shock hazards as well.
When it comes to protecting your family and your home, remember, safety comes first, especially when you’re using portable space heaters. Follow these tips to keep your family both safe and warm!
- Before you use a space heater (even an older model), be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. If you don’t have it, it should be available online.
- Before using any space heater, inspect it for loose parts, a frayed cord, cracks, and other damage.
- NEVER put a space heater near a blanket or comforter.
- Do not let a blanket or clothing cover a space heater.
- Do not leave a space heater unattended. If you’re leaving the house, unplug the heater. If you go to sleep, turn it off.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms in all sleeping areas and in all floors of your home. The ESFI recommends testing smoke alarms monthly.
- Always keep heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, such as blankets, clothing, rugs, and papers.
- Do not place heaters in high-traffic areas where they can be tripping hazards.
- Do not plug space heaters into power strips or extension cords; these can cause fires. Instead, plug them directly into a wall outlet.
- Never place heaters on cupboards, chairs, tables, or desks because these can overheat and cause a fire.