Even the best HVAC systems may require a little help from a space heater on the coldest of nights. Depending on how warm you want your space to be, a miniature or portable space heater can be a simple and cost-effective option in adding a level of heat to your room, office, or living space. But, as the winter drags on, regularly using a space heater does pose some safety risks for you and our family. Here’s how to avoid house fires, potential injury, and other safety risks at hand when it comes to common space heater use:
First, consider the placement of your space heater. Two places to avoid are anywhere off the ground, and anywhere on a carpet. This may limit your options, but the reason to avoid these spaces are because counters and tables are often made of thin woods or other materials that are easily burned, charred, or warped due to heat. Plus, if a heater falls from a high point, it could break or end up on it’s side on the floor, which creates an immediate fire hazard if it continues producing heat after the fall. Carpeted areas expose flammable fibers to direct heat, also creating another type of fire hazard.
Next avoid running a heater overnight while you sleep. Be sure to turn off a heater once it’s done it’s job heating a space to your liking. Plus, extra blankets on the bed can go a long way in trapping in that heat while you sleep without running the heater. This not only saves a bit of energy and cash, but also avoids any hazards that could occur while you’re unconscious and unaware of potential danger. Running a space heater for too long could also produce an unpleasant and worrisome burning smell in a space or throughout the home at large. Last, using a space heater only when necessary will keep it from requiring premature replacement and keep your skin free from excess dehydration overnight.
Last, be wary of electricity use by avoiding any shared outlets when plugging in your space heater. It’s a small appliance that’s sure to use a lot of energy, relative to other small electronics, so keep it on its own outlet to avoid a power surge.