SERVPRO Space Heater Safety Tips
The ability to return to a cozy, heated home after spending time outside will become increasingly important as temperatures rapidly drop this winter in St Clair County. While many homeowners utilize central heating systems to maintain warmth in their homes, many seek additional heat through space heaters. Creating a warm environment, space heaters can be helpful in heating a specific room, but space heaters do not come without safety risks. Space heaters caused an estimated 25,000 residential fires and 300 deaths each year, according to a 2013 study by The Consumer Product Safety Commission. While this statistic is alarming, your home’s individual risk can be decreased and your family can be kept safe with a thorough understanding of space heater safety.
Combustible objects, such as curtains, rugs, clothes, or paper can ignite if they come into contact with a space heater. To prevent a fire from starting, remember to always keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from combustible items while in use. Additionally, you should also be conscious of keeping your space heater situated on flat, level surfaces and away from major walkways in your home, as a fire could ignite if someone were to trip over the heater, knocking it over onto an object. Always be sure to check your space heater, including its cords and plug, for damage prior to usage. Damage increases the space heater’s risk of malfunctioning and creating a dangerous situation. Therefore, if you discover that the space heater has sustained any damage, do not use the unit. Finally, space heaters should never be left unattended during use. A nearby person could most likely detect a fire early on from the smoke smell and initial flames, which would decrease the chances of the fire spiraling out of control and protect the home from potential destruction. Therefore, it is imperative that you power down the space heater and unplug the unit before leaving the room.
Despite your best efforts to use space heaters safely, accidents can still happen. Taking precautions such as installing smoke detectors on every floor of your home can therefore serve as beneficial backup plans and help to protect your home from destruction. Lastly, if you have children or pets in your home, be sure to keep a watchful eye while a space heater is in use, as they could burn or injure themselves if they get too close. If your home sustains fire damage as a result of space heater usage this fall, you can count on SERVPRO for all of your restorative needs.