If you want to stay warm and save money during the cold months, using a space heater can be a helpful solution. Here are some tips from an expert electrician on how to use them safely to prevent fires and accidents.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are a common cause of home fires, so it’s essential to follow safety guidelines. Here are some practical tips from electricians and the NFPA to help you choose, use, and maintain space heaters safely.
Electrician Tips For Space Heaters
No matter which type of space heater you choose, safety should always be your top priority. Here are some safety precautions recommended by the NFPA and professional Myrtle Beach electricians:
Keep Flammable Items Away: Make sure to keep anything that can catch fire, like bedding, furniture, curtains, and paper, at least three feet away from the space heater. This helps prevent accidental fires.
Child Safety: Create a “kid-free zone” around space heaters, keeping them at least three feet away from children. Never use a space heater in a child’s room, as it can be dangerous.
Proper Cord Placement: Place power cords above carpets and walk over them to avoid tripping hazards. Avoid using extension cords with space heaters, as they can overheat and cause fires.
Turn Off When Not in Use: Always turn off space heaters when you go to sleep or leave a room. This reduces the risk of accidents when you’re not around to monitor them.
Avoid Moisture: Don’t use a space heater in damp or wet areas, as it can be dangerous. Additionally, avoid using them on countertops unless they are designed for that purpose.
Install Detectors: Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them monthly to ensure they work correctly.
Space heaters use two methods to provide warmth:
Convection Process: This happens when the space heater warms the air around it. The warm air rises toward the ceiling, drawing in cooler air from the surroundings. This cooler air is then heated and starts to rise, creating a convection loop that gradually warms up the entire room.
Radiant Heat: Radiant heat is similar to the warmth you feel when the sun shines on your skin. The closer you are to the space heater, the more you’ll feel this radiant heat. Some space heaters come with built-in fans to distribute heat more evenly throughout the room.
Types of Space Heaters:
There are various types of space heaters available, each with its own characteristics:
Gas and Oil-Burning Room Heaters: These should only be used in well-ventilated areas open to the outdoors because they produce harmful combustion gases. Look for models with safety features like a low-oxygen shutoff or oxygen depletion sensor.
Electric Room Heaters: These are suitable for indoor use and come in various sizes and styles. They work by passing electricity through a resistant material, generating heat. When selecting an electric space heater, prioritize safety features like a tip-over switch, overheat sensor, and touch sensor to prevent burns. Professional electricians in Myrtle Beach say that you should opt for heaters with longer and sturdy power cords to avoid using extension cords, which can be fire hazards.
To make the right choice for your specific needs and ensure safety, it’s a good idea to consult with a local electrician. Call MB Electrician Pros now. We’ll provide guidance on selecting the best space heater and using it safely in your home.
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