Preventing Space Heater Damage
Approximately 25,000 house fires every year are attributed to space heaters. User error is the primary cause, although heaters without essential safety features may malfunction and pose a fire risk. Here are five ways that you can prevent a burned space heater from starting a fire in your home.
1. Keep a minimum of three feet between space heaters and combustibles. Combustibles include bedding, curtains, and upholstered furniture. You should also only operate a space heater on a hard, level, non-flammable surface.
2. Don't operate heaters unattended around pets or kids. Children, cats, and dogs don't understand the principles of fire safety.
3. Purchase a space heater with safety features. One of the best ways to prevent a burned space heater is to purchase a model that automatically shuts off when it overheats. Check the model you are considering for a safety certification label, ground fault circuit interrupter plug, and a sturdy cord that is at least six feet long. Make sure the heater has all of the features you need to stay warm while running a very low risk of fire.
4. Turn off or unplug heaters when not in use. This can reduce the risk of a fire starting when you are elsewhere in your home or away from home.
5. Avoid plugging other electronics into the same outlet as a space heater. You should also never use an extension cord, as this equipment heightens the overheating risk.
Your heater can only work as designed if it is kept in working condition. You may need to regularly clean the filter on your space heater to prevent it from overheating. In addition to following these steps, you should also test the smoke alarms in your home and replace batteries or damaged units. If a burned space heater does cause a fire, contact a smoke cleanup service in Western, Kentucky.
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