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  • JessiJames Outlaw Electric

Space Heater Safety Tips for a Cozy and Secure Home

Many of the people reading this live in places where winter is frigid. So how can we stay warm during the next several winter months safely?


According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Heating equipment is a leading cause if fires in homes in the U.S. Here are a few statistics

  • As of November 2022 local fire departments responded to an estimated 44,210 home structure fires that were caused by heating equipment between the years 2016-2022. These fires resulted in the loss of 480 deaths, 1370 injuries and $1 billion in property damage.

  • Heating equipment causes 1 in 6 home structure fires

  • 88% of the heating deaths that are caused had a stationary or portable space heater involved.

  • And 46% of all homes heating fire deaths occur in the months of January, February and December.

In my research, Space heaters if used correctly are much safer than they used to be. So if you have an old space heater you may want to consider throwing.

So what can we do to stay warm and safe??

Well here are some space heater safety tips that I found while researching this topic on the internet.

  • Put your Space Heater on the floor and leave it! According to WireCutter. Do not place your space heater on unlevel surfaces, or chairs, etc.

  • Keep it away from water. Most of us know that water and electricity do not get along very well. But for those of you who may not, now you do. So that means not placing a space heater in the bathroom or kitchen. No matter how cold those areas may be, you will need to figure out another solution.

  • Avoid all flammable objects. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) you should keep all flammables at least 3 feet away from the heat source. And according to Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) you should also keep paint and matches further away.

  • Never Leave your Space Heater Unattended!! If you are in the same room you would be able to quickly respond if anything did happen to go wrong. Children should be kept away from space heaters by at least 3-feet or more. Not only could a child possibly get burned or fire risk, there is also an electrical risk.

  • Follow the appliance instructions. Your space heater should have a label that will show you that it has been tested and in a recognized laboratory. Before using your space heater, make sure you read and understand the manufacturers instructions as well as any warning labels.

  • Use Pace Heaters for Supplemental Heat Only! Space heaters are meant to only provide supplemental heat. While they may work to warm up smaller rooms in your home, they are not energy efficient. According to the Department of Energy's EnergyStar Program they do not certify space heaters for this exact reason.

  • Make sure that all of your Smoke Alarms Work. Whether you use a space heater or not, this is an essential for your home. But with the risks so high, you should make sure that they are all in proper working order. If you have a battery operated smoke alarm, this may be a good time to change the batteries. (Changing the batteries should be done twice a year.)

  • Make sure its plugged in directly. Make sure that the space heater is plugged in to the outlet directly. Do not use an extension cord or power strip. Space heaters draw a considerable electric current, which can shock you or overheat the extension cord or power strip.

-Stay safe and warm


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