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Take Extra Care With Space Heaters


They’re convenient and come with all kinds of built-in safety features, but space heaters still contribute to more than 40% of house fires and 81% of house fire-related deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

If you rely on space heaters to keep rooms warm, follow a few commonsense precautions.
Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions.
  • Only use space heaters on flat surfaces—preferably the floor but never a carpet or rug.
  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from flammable fabrics, including furniture and draperies.
  • Likewise, place the heater at least 3 feet away from the wall where it’s plugged in. If it’s too close, it could overheat the wall and start a fire.
  • Choose a model that lets you tilt the heating element upward so you can direct the heat away from the floor.
  • Never disable a tip-over switch. Most modern space heaters come with them built in.
  • Don’t use a space heater in a bathroom, laundry room or any other space where water could touch the appliance. Water and electricity do not mix.
  • Turn off the heater when you leave the room. If it does tip over, you need to know immediately so you can pick it up before it starts a fire.
  • Keep a close eye on a space heater when kids and pets are in the room with it. Or better yet, don’t use a space heater around children and animals.
  • Plug space heaters into wall outlets, not extension cords, power strips or surge protectors. Using those kinds of cords increases the risk of an overloaded circuit, which can start a fire.
  • Make sure your space heater has a label indicating that it has been tested by a laboratory recognized by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Posted: 10/6/2021 10:31:06 AM
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