Avoid Fires and Death This Winter with Space Heater Safety
When the weather outside is frightful and you’re conscious of the money you’re spending on your heating bill every month, portable space heaters become a “hot” commodity. Along with winter coats, gloves, hats, boots, and scarves, space heaters are a staple in the battle against the cold.
This is because older homes are often poorly insulated. Cold air easily seeps through cracks around ill-fitting doors and windows, making your home uncomfortably chilly. In other cases, outdated duct placement and inefficient furnaces may not distribute heat evenly throughout the house, leaving some rooms feeling significantly colder than other rooms. To solve these problems, many resort to purchasing a space heater from a local retailer.
Despite the welcomed warmth that a space heater can generate, however, keep in mind that their presence can pose safety risks – the Consumer Product Safety Commission warns consumers that lives are lost and homes are damaged or destroyed from space heater fires every winter.
Here at Folkes, we want you to be both warm AND safe this winter. We understand that you might still want/need to use space heaters, so to help you stay safe, here are our safety tips to minimize the risks when using space heaters:
- Make sure that space heaters are as far from flammable materials as possible. Items such as blankets, curtains, or even children’s toys can ignite if they come into contact with the heating coils of a space heater. Even a small fire could spread and very quickly become a large fire.
- Similarly, avoid placing space heaters on carpeted areas. If a space heater malfunctions, the underside of the unit can become extremely hot. Combustible materials like carpet can actually ignite if they come in contact with the heat source. If a space heater is used, make sure it is place on an uncarpeted surface.
- Never leave a space heater on when you leave the house. In fact, it’s even better if you don’t leave the space heater on when you leave the room either. The number one safety rule is to always monitor the devices. Space heaters are in danger of overheating.
- When operating a space heater, plug the unit directly into the wall outlet rather than using an extension cord. Space heaters generate a lot of power, and most extension cords lack the insulation required to safely power a space heater. As a result, the cords can overheat.
- Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide monitors. If something goes wrong, you want to know about it right away. Seconds are precious when it comes to a fire or a carbon monoxide leak. The sooner you know about it, the more likely it is that you will be able to avoid disasters.
So if you must use a space heater, please do so with extreme care. Safety is the number one priority. And remember: when an expert is needed, the team at Folkes is here to help you stay both warm AND safe. We’re your solution for winter’s heating concerns.
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