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Safety Tips to Prevent Space Heater Fires

By Luke Armstrong

With the severely cold temperatures that winter brings, keeping warm is a priority to stay safe and healthy. To protect yourself against the cold, you can bundle up with warm clothing, heavy jackets, and other winter accessories. When staying indoors, the best ways to stay warm are to turn on the heat or even cozy up in front of the fireplace if you have one.

Some parts of a property can be more difficult to warm than others. However, it is not practical to increase the overall temperature in your residential or commercial property just to accommodate one area. In such a situation, a space heater can solve this issue because it allows you to provide supplemental heat for a certain area without having to adjust the overall temperature of the property.

As with any item that produces heat, though, it’s important to use space heaters in a cautious manner as such items are fire hazards. Failing to practice space heater safety could easily lead to a fire, causing extensive damage to your property and personal belongings.

Continue reading for some safety tips on how you can prevent space heater fires.

Use Certified Space Heaters

No one wants to use a product that can knowingly cause problems for you and your family, especially if those issues will concern people’s safety. That said, when you get a space heater, you need to make sure it has a listing from a recognized testing laboratory. This labeling is proof that it is certified for safe use.

Don’t Use Broken Space Heaters

Before using a space heater, check the product for any broken parts, cracks, flawed plugs, or other defects. If you come across any type of damage, then do not use the space heater. The damaged section could trigger a space heater fire while it is in use.

Never Leave Space Heaters Unattended

You should never leave a space heater on while unattended. If you need to leave the room, take the time to turn the heater off. You should also turn it off while you’re sleeping. You might be in the same area as the heater, but you won’t be awake to respond to any space heater problems that could arise.

Follow Instructions

As with any electrical appliance or electronic device you get, you should read the instructions and pay attention to any included warning labels before using your space heater. Follow the provided instructions to ensure the heater is being used in the correct manner. Not only will following the instructions ensure safety, but it also means the heater should have a longer lifespan as it will not wear out as quickly.

Don’t Crowd the Space Heater

Because the space heater produces heat, it is crucial that no items, people, or pets are crowding or blocking it in any manner. Flammable items like paper and clothing especially need to be kept from the heater, because those could easily start a space heater fire. With that being said, make sure that there is at least three feet between the space heater and any nearby objects.

Use a Wall Outlet

When using a space heater, always plug it into a wall outlet. If you power a space heater using a power strip or extension cord, then it may overheat and start a space heater fire. Furthermore, the outlet powering the space heater should be used only for the heater. If you need to plug in something else in the same area, then use a different wall outlet.

Place the Space Heater in a Proper Spot

When you use a space heater, you need to be mindful of where it is being placed. For one, the heater should always be on a flat level surface to ensure stability. It should also be placed on the ground and not on furniture, tables, or cabinets. Not only can the space heater be knocked off of these items, but it could also overheat the object and lead to a space heater fire. The cord can also cause objects to overheat and burn, so never run it underneath rugs or carpeting. Doing this could also damage the cord.

What to Do If There’s a Space Heater Fire

If you follow the aforementioned space heater safety tips, then you put yourself in a great position to warm your property with a space heater while reducing the risk of a fire. But in the event that your home or business is the site of a space heater fire, then it’s important you how to respond to it.

When there’s a fire, remain calm and evacuate the property. Then contact your local fire department to have the fire put out. Once the fire has been extinguished, turn your attention to having your property restored, and reach out to a professional for fire damage restoration services.

With help from fire damage restoration professionals, trained technicians will clean and restore or repair your home or business in the aftermath of a space heater fire. Once the service is complete, your property will be restored to a safe and healthy environment.