Space Heater Safety Tips

Space heaters are a great way to stay warm in the winter while saving money on your energy costs. The most important factor to consider when choosing a space heater, however is not warmth – it is safety.

Space heaters used to be dangerous because they were not designed with any built in safety features and thus frequently caused house fires. Recently, however, stricter standards for space heaters have been put in place and today’s space heaters come with a variety of safety features that make them much safer to use to stay warm during the winter.

Portable space heaters come in three basic varieties which are electic, kerosene and gas. Of the three types, electric space heaters are probably the easiest to use and the most economical to run.

You will save the most money on your heating bill by using a space heater in a small, confined area. Most average space heaters can heat a room up to 200 sqft. They do make space heaters that can heat rooms that are larger than that, but they typically are much more expensive and use more energy. If you have a large area to heat you may want to look for a space heater that has a blower since that will help to disperse the heat throughout the room instead of just having the heat localized around the heater.

When using a space heater in a room, close any doors to other rooms that don’t need heating to help keep the heat that is put off by the heater in the room with you.

When shopping for and using a space heater, always think safety first. The last thing you want is to burn your house down just because you wanted to stay warm. Here are some tips regarding space heater safety:

– Look for a space heater that carries a sticker marked “UL”. This indicates that it has met the minimum standards set forth by an independent testing lab.
– Never set a space heater on an uneven or unsteady surface where it might tip over.
– Do not use space heaters near draperies, other fabric or furniture. A space heater should be used at least 3-4 feet away from anything flammable.
– Buy a space heater that features an automatic shut off if it overheats or tips over.
– Always turn off and unplug a space heater if you are not in the room with it.
– Look for a space heater where the casing of the heater stays cool to the touch even when the heater is running. Most newer models have this feature.
– Never place the cord under a rug or try to hide it in any other way since this can cause it to overheat.
– Always try to plug a space heater directly into a wall outlet rather than using an extention cord. If you do need to use an extension cord, choose a heavy duty cord that can handle the energy load.
– Space heaters are inexpensive and it is well worth the money to upgrade from an older model. Older space heaters don’t have the built in safety features of today’s models and are much more likely to cause fires.
– Always read the manual that comes with your heater and follow the instructions given by the manufacturer.

As long as you consider safety first and use it wisely, a space heater can be a fantastic way to stay warm during even the coldest winter while saving money on your energy costs at the same time. As with any purchase, you should shop around and make sure you are getting the most safety features and best energy output within your price range before purchasing your space heater.

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