Everything You Shouldn't Do When Using a Space Heater

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Everything You Shouldn't Do When Using a Space Heater

Everything You Shouldn't Do When Using a Space Heater
Even if you live somewhere with central heating, sometimes it's nice to get an extra heat boost from a heater. And while modern heaters are safer than earlier versions, it's still important to keep safety in mind when using something that produces such high temperatures.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that an estimated 25,000 house fires are caused each year by the use of stoves, resulting in more than 300 deaths and 6,000 emergency room visits. If stoves are a staple in your household during the winter, here are a few things you should avoid doing to avoid potential safety risks.

Ignoring warning labels or tags

Before you plug in your new stove, read the warning labels or tags to be aware of the specific hazards and safety tips for that model, advises the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

Put it in a crowded room

Space heaters do their job best in a small, enclosed space, such as a bedroom with the door closed. But more important than that is that it can be dangerous to place them in a part of your home where people (including children and pets) are constantly walking around. You don't want anyone tripping and falling, and/or burning themselves.

Buy the largest stove available

When it comes to stoves, bigger isn't always better, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Instead, the agency recommends buying a stove designed to heat the space you plan to use it in, so you don't waste (and have to pay for) extra energy.

Plug in an extension cord

Be sure to plug a stove directly into an outlet (if possible without anything plugged into the same outlet) rather than into an extension cord or power strip, which can overheat and cause fires, according to the ESFI. But if an extension cord cannot be avoided, use the shortest cord you can get away with - preferably a heavy-duty cord of 14 gauge wire or larger.

Put it everywhere in your home

Not only don't place stoves in rooms frequented by many people, but also make sure they are no more than two feet away from anything that can burn, such as papers, clothing and carpets, the ESFI warns. 

Instead, always place stoves on a flat surface and avoid places like cabinets, tables, furniture or carpeting, which can overheat and cause fires, or make it easier for the stove to fall over. If possible, purchase an appliance with a tilt guard, which will automatically shut off the stove if it falls over.
Was this article helpful? Yes -0 No -010 Posted by: 👨 Reyna L. Miller
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