This nation-wide wave of winter weather is causing a lot of stress for people everywhere. Pipes are bursting and roads are either too slick to drive on or filled with snow, making it very difficult to get around. This has a lot of people staying indoors and trying to remain as comfortable as possible until it all blows over. For many, this means turning up the thermostat and pulling out the space heaters. This poses its own threat though, and we want to make sure that you stay safe and informed.
Although space heaters are a great tool for quickly warming up a space, they can also be a serious danger. Rising to high temperatures very quickly, they can cause burns to unsuspecting people sitting too close, or can even cause fire damage to homes when left unattended. The National Fire Protection Association states that home heating devices cause 2/3 of heating related home fires, along with chimneys that aren’t properly cleaned and wood-burning stoves.
If you are using supplemental heating equipment like these, here are some tips for making them safer.
- Keep a 3 ft safe-zone around the heater to prevent people or materials from getting burned. People tend to enjoy huddling closer to the heater when it is cold, but you must remember to give it space to release heat and fill the room. This allows it to do its job and keeps you safe in the process.
- Check for safety features that will turn the heater off automatically. These can include a tip-over sensor for if it falls, an overheating sensor, a touch sensor, or a time-out feature that will turn the machine off after extended periods of use.
- Make sure that the space heater is clean before use. Dust or fluff can heat up and burn, creating embers that can escapes and start fires in the home.
- Do not overload the circuit when plugging in your heater, this can cause it to short and spark and can be its own cause for house fires. Inspect the electrical cord to make sure it is not frayed or damaged. Avoid using an extension cable or power strip as these can overheat and are another risk for causing damage. Make sure that it is kept away from water at all times.
- Place the space heater of a flat non-flammable surface during use. This will prevent it from falling over and starting a fire or from charring the surface it is resting on. Do not place it on carpet or wood and make sure it is at least 3 ft away from curtains, bedding, blankets etc.
- Do not leave space heaters on unattended. This means when you are leaving the room for an extended amount of time, leaving the home, or going to bed. Always make sure that the heater is turned off completely and unplugged when not in use and being watched.
Staying warm during these frozen times is definitely a priority, so we hope that you stay safe while you do it. If you have any questions or concerns, please click here to view our page on home insurance to make sure that you are covered in the case of burst pipes or house fires. You can also contact our team by calling or texting (901) 388-7283 or emailing us at [email protected] to discuss your protection and coverage options.