Space heaters need attention

If you’re trying to save a little money by heating your most-used rooms rather you’re your whole house this fall, a space heater can do the trick.

But anyone who uses space heaters needs to pay attention to them.

The makers of space heaters have built in lots of safety features to ensure that the devices that keep you toasty warm when the weather turns crisp don’t become a fire hazard.

            Here a few precautions to take to keep your home and family safe during space-heater weather:

  • Space heaters are not designed to be your home’s main heat source. They’re best used as supplemental heat when you want to warm up a room while you’re sitting in it.
  • Choose a space heater with a safety label from UL and insist on one with a feature than automatically turns the device off if it tips over or overheats.
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from drapes and furniture that could catch fire. Keep it far away from your Christmas tree.
  • Don’t use extension cords with space heaters. Move the heater closer to the outlet so you don’t need one.
  • Inspect the heater's cord periodically for frayed wire or damaged insulation. Don’t use a space heater with a damaged cord.
  • If the heater’s plug gets hot, the problem could be inside the outlet. Call an electrician.
  • Place your heater on a flat, level surface, never on upholstered furniture or a bed. The heater shouldn’t wobble, which can cause it to tip over and catch something on fire. 
  • Unless the heater is designed for use outdoors or in bathrooms, don’t use it in wet areas.