Close to 25,000 house fires every year are attributed to space heaters. Additionally, nearly 6,000 people end up in the hospital with burns from touching the hot surface of a heater. Home space heaters can be beneficial tools for various rooms in your house, but you must know how to use them safely before enjoying their benefits. While there is a range of space heaters on the market, there are a few features you want to look for when finding the safest space heater for your home. Read on to learn which features are most safety-oriented and how you can operate your space heater successfully.
The Space Heater Safety Features to Look For
The following safety features are essential for your home space heater:
- Certification: Make sure the heater carries a safety certification label from an independent testing organization. This can include the UL mark, the ETL label from Intertek, or a certificate from CSA International.
- Shutoff Features: This refers to a smart sensor that automatically shuts off when a heater overheats. You will also want a tip-over switch that shuts off the heater if the machine is knocked over.
- A GFCI Plug: Most space heaters do not come with a GFCI plug, which prevents electric shock. Heaters without this plug should never be used around water.
- A Sturdy Cord: Most heaters come with a six-foot long cord. To prevent overheating and electrical fires, never use an extension cord or power strip with your electric space heater.
How to Use a Space Heater Safely
After you find the safest space heater for your home, it is crucial to follow these steps for safe use:
- Place the heater on a hard floor that is level and nonflammable.
- Establish a three-foot zone around the heater to keep kids and pets away, and never place a space heater in a child’s room
- Keep the space heater three feet away from combustible materials like bedding, furniture, and curtains.
- Don’t use your heater in a workshop or garage near paint, gas cans, or matches.
- Turn off your heater before you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Unplug the heater when you’re not using it by pulling the plug straight from the outlet. Do not tug on the cord to unplug.
- Periodically check the cord for damage, and do not use it if frayed or damaged.
- Don’t plug another device or an extension cord into the same outlet as the heater.
- Install working smoke alarms on every level of your home and each bedroom.
When you remember these safety tips, you can be sure to enjoy your space heater and the cozy comfort it can provide during the coldest seasons.
For ALL of Your Residential or Commercial Electrical Needs, Call TriStar Electric!
No matter the job, big or small, the professionals at TriStar Electric will be happy to discuss your project and answer any questions or concerns you may have. We offer free in-home consultations, plus an after-hours and emergency phone line for advice or service!
If you have any questions about our electrical repairs or upgrades, please contact TriStar Electric, Maryland’s premier residential and commercial electrician, by calling 410-799-5791 or 301-384-8880. Or, you can fill out the contact form on our website.
Are you looking for a quality electrician in Maryland, Washington DC, Southern Pennsylvania, or Northern Virginia? Take a look at TriStar Electric’s online reviews and ratings on Angie’s List, Yelp, Google, Facebook, Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, and Better Business Bureau Greater Mid-Atlantic. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube!