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9 Safety Tips to Avoid Space Heater Fire Hazards

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Radiant heater in used in Dayton property. Misused space heaters can cause fire damage at any time of year!

Learn how to safely use a space heater and avoid unwanted fire hazards

According to the (NFPA) National Fire Protection Association, space heaters are responsible for one-third of most household fires and 80 percent of all winter heating fire accidents and deaths.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said in a 2018 press release that heating equipment is the second-leading source of house fires in the United States and the third-leading cause of deaths from these household fires.

Although space heaters are typically used only in winter, some people like to use them in the summertime. A scenario where one might use a space heater in the summer months is when an individual at the office blasts the air conditioning and causes others to be cold. As news of Dayton house fires caused by portable space heaters continues to make headlines, many people keep questioning: are they worth the risk?

Are space heaters safe?

The issue isn't that space heaters are not safe; they're unsafe when not used properly. Heating equipment put too close to flammable items, such as clothing, upholstered furniture, curtains, paper, mattresses, bedding, or flammable liquids, is the primary cause of space heater fires.

9 Safety tips when using a space heater:

1) Carefully read the manufacturer's instructions before us a space heater and only purchase one with a UL tag. (UL as the ultimate symbol of safety on a space heater )

2) The location of space heaters is crucial. Remember these simple rules: stay three feet away from its heat or a meter away from the heater. Heaters should be placed at least three feet away from something that might catch fire.

3) Do not use the space heater if there are any signs of wear, damage, or fraying.

4) Always place the heater on a flat, solid surface. Do not place them on furniture or carpet or on something that can overheat. 

5) Always unplug the space heater after use.

6) Do not leave it on overnight and never leave it unattended.

7) During use, frequently check if the cord, plug, or wall is hot.

8) Never run a cord under your rug or carpet.

9) Use a wall outlet that is free of other devices.

Are all space heaters a fire hazard?

After reading the tips above, you might be questioning if all space heaters are fire hazards. The answer is that it all depends on the way they are being handled. 

Unfortunately, an improperly used space heater will potentially cause severe fire hazards. Older space heaters with insufficient safety features, space heaters placed close to flammable items, and incorrectly plugged can be fire hazards. It all comes down to if the user is properly using the space heater.   

4 Different types of space heaters

There are 4 main types of space heaters.

1) Ceramic heaters

A type of convection heater. It is a popular choice for homes with pets and kids, as the heater's body remains cool.

2) Infrared heaters

This type of space heater is a radiant heater where the infrared bulbs create heat. They work well for warming a single individual or a small area rather than a larger one. For example, one could put this type of heater under a desk in a colder office.

3) Fan-forced heaters

These convection heaters warm air around coils and distribute it around a room with an attached fan, making them common in offices and small workspaces. The fan guarantees that the heat will be evenly spread.

4) Radiant heaters

This type of heater heats objects near it or in its direction by passing heated water or oil through it. They can be found in living rooms, lounges, and dens. Since they can maintain heat for long periods even without consistent electricity is switched off. 

Final thoughts

Fire disasters always come without warning and at any time. Such an unfortunate thing can happen to anyone, so it is understandable to be worried about a space heater fire hazard. SERVPRO of East Dayton/Beavercreek specializes in Fire/Water/Mold restoration, and we are available 24/7 for any kind of structural damages to your property. 

If you suspect a fire starting in your house, leave your home immediately and call the local fire department. Call the IICRC certified professionals at SERVPRO when there is fire damage; we have the skills and training to restore your property to a pre-disaster state quickly. We are available to help you with your home insurance claim and to make your property seem like there was never a fire! Our emergency services are available 24/7, meaning you can contact us at any time of day!

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