September 20, 2022
As the weather starts to become cooler in the North Bay Area, many homeowners turn to space heaters, as an alternative to turning their furnace on just yet, and as a way to heat up their home or specific rooms that stay a bit colder. The autumn mornings and evening can create a chill throughout your home, but you may not fully need your heat for the season, so these types of heaters can be a great alternative. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that space heaters are responsible for 43% of house fires and 81% of home heating fire deaths. That leads us to the question, are you using your space heater safely?
What is a Space Heater?
Whether you are trying to warm up a space that doesn’t have a built in heat source, or just looking for some warm relief, a space heater may be the solution you turn to. These, usually small and portable heaters, provide a way to warm up an individual rooms without turning up the thermostat to the entire house. They can be used almost anywhere in the home that flammable materials are not present. Space heaters differ from central heating systems, as space heaters are meant for smaller and typically enclosed spaces, while central HVAC systems are intended to heat your entire home.
There are several different types of electric space heaters:
- Oil or water-filled radiator: Heated oil or water travels through the heater.
- Fan-forced heater: A fan blows warm air over metal coils.
- Ceramic heater: Air is warmed over a ceramic heating element.
- Infrared heaters: Heat is created by infrared bulbs.
Regardless what type you use, it’s important that you are using your space heater safely. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, resulting in more than 300 deaths. In addition, an estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.
Are you Using Your Space Heater Safely?
As you can see, space heaters, while a great solution for providing heat to your Marin, Sonoma, or Napa county home and family, can also pose a safety risk. Are you using your space heater safely? Below we review some safety precautions you should take if using one of these heat producing devices.
Recommended space heater safety tips:
- Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
- Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that is flammable, including people (especially children).
- Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
- Station the heater on a solid, flat surface that is out of the way of foot traffic and does not block an exit.
- Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
- Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
- Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed. They should never be left unattended.
- Only use a space heater to provide supplemental heat and never use to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing, or thaw pipes.
Are you using your space heater safely? It doesn’t matter if you are trying to avoid turning on your entire heating system until later in the year, warming a room that is a bit chilly, or trying to heat up a garage, when using one of these heating devices, you need to be sure you are taking the proper safety precautions to protect yourself, your home, and your family.
At Bragg Plumbing & Heating, our specialty is providing comfort to your home. We are North Bay Area furnace and HVAC professionals. Ensuring your peace of mind is our priority. Whether you are planning on replacing an old furnace or you’re looking to have your system tuned up for the season, the Bragg expert installers and technicians will make sure you receive a top-notch service experience and total home comfort.