In the coldest of winter months it is nice to take the chill off with a small electric heater. During those same months electric heaters of the larger variety will keep you nice and warm reliably. They never run out of fuel. There is no “feeding” like there is with a woodstove. Electric heaters have no fumes to worry about and are totally safe. Well, almost…there is the danger of fire.
Every year there are thousands of house fires due to electric heaters. There reasons why vary. Most of those reasons can be prevented. People who lost their home due to an electric heater fire caused by the heater being too close too the curtains could have prevented that fire by checking the placement of the heater and moving it. You see?
To prevent fires in your home caused by electric heaters I recommend you do the following.
First, read all of the directions and instructions that have come with your heater. Read them carefully as they contain all safety precautions to take regarding the specific heater style you have.
Next, do this. Check the heater often. Yeah, it will still be working and heating your home just fine when you check it. Is there anything to close to it though? If it is a portable heater is it too close to anything? Many people don’t check on their electric heaters because they know they are working fine. Electric heat is reliable enough to not have to check on as some of the other types of heat need to be checked on often for the smell of fumes, of whatever. However, electric heaters need to be checked on often for the reason of fire. Check often to make sure that nothing is near the heater such as a child’s sweatshirt that has been flung, or laundry, or what have you for the bigger heaters. For the little electric heaters check often to make sure of the above, and also` that `the heater` itself is not too close to anything such as furniture, curtains, or bedding. Doing so could prevent your home from burning down in the middle of the night, or while you at are work during the day.
There is also another thing about electric heaters. They are electric and have electrical cords. The cords of electric heaters also present a risk and can be a possible cause of fire. Cords that cause fires are cords that have been chewed on by the pets, or otherwise have been damaged to where the plastic coating is broken. A cord will likely cause a fire if any of the copper wire is exposed. Cords with kinks and knots in them also cause fires. Cords that are under pressure because of something heavy on them will cause a fire. Cords that are not fully plugged in could cause a fire, as could a cord that is plugged into an overfull outlet. A heater that is plugged into an electrical circuit that is already too full can overload it and potentially cause a fire. Any electrical cord that is near water can also prove the be dangerous. Any cord that has a plug in that is damaged, missing prongs, or outdated can be as well. Check your cords often too, just to be safe. Prevention is the best way to reduce your risk of tragedy, whether it be the tragedy of a fire or what have you.