Space Heater Safety
While space heaters can help save you money on your energy bills there are a few things you need to keep in mind when deciding to go this route.
- Buy a space heater that is rated for your need. A heater that is too large for a certain area can lead to higher energy bills due to it consuming lots of energy. On the other hand, if you buy one that is rated too small for your space it will have to work harder to heat the space.
- It's suggested that you place your space heater at least three feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs, and other combustibles. There is a chance a fire can start if these items touch the heating element of the space heater. Also make sure to place the space heater on a hard level surface so there is less chance of it tipping over.
- Make sure the heater you purchase carries a label from either UL, ETL, or CSA. These are safety consulting and certification companies.
- It is a good idea to purchase a space heater that has tip-over and overheat protection. A heater that has tip-over protection will automatically shut off if it tips over for any reason. Overheat protection is when the space heater uses a temperature sensor and when an unsafe temperature is detected, there is a switch that automatically shuts off the unit.
- Plug the space heater directly into an outlet instead of an extension cord. There is an increased risk of fires if plugged into an extension cord.
- Frequently clean and maintain it to ensure it's working safely. Wiping it down is also important as this helps reduce the amount of dust and allergens that can spread.
- Turn off and unplug the space heater if not in use to reduce the chance of a fire.
- Last but not least keep heaters away from water such as in a bathroom or a damp basement.