Why Space Heaters are a Fire Hazard

space heater

Winter is quickly approaching and temperatures will soon begin to drop. Although Florida isn’t known for an unbearably cold climate, there will be days where some additional warmth is necessary for your home. Enter: space heaters. A common appliance in homes, that require more safety tips than you may think.

While there are pros to using a space heater — like heating small spaces in a home quickly — they also come with a major risk, they can be a fire hazard. These high-wattage appliances have the potential to ignite combustible materials (like sofas, curtains, clothing, flammable liquids, etc.) without warning.

Using one of these units in your home requires attention to detail and caution.

Best practices for using a space heater:

1. Research

Do your research. There are various makes and models of space heaters. Whether you decide to go with convection, ceramic, or radiant heater, you will want to look into reviews and user guidelines for the unit you choose. It is important to purchase a good quality space heater that you know is reliable.

2. Placement

Choosing where to place your space heater is crucial in keeping your home safe. Once you have chosen which room you want to use it in, find an outlet that is not in use and place it at least 3 feet from the wall. Do not use a space heater with an extension cord or power strip.

Keep your unit in a dry space, on a solid surface that is not surrounded by anything flammable. If your room has carpeting, find a way to elevate your heater to reduce your fire risk. If your home has furry friends or children, your portable heater should be placed out of reach of any small hands or paws.

3. Attention

Never leave your heater unattended. If you are leaving your home or planning to spend several minutes away from your space heater, turn it off. Space heaters warm up very quickly, so when you come back and turn your heater on, you will get back to feeling cozy in no time.

Mistakes happen, so check that the room(s) you plan to use your heater in are properly equipped with smoke detectors in case you leave it unattended and a fire ignites.

Alternatives to space heaters

1. Oven

Your home is already equipped with a built-in heater - the oven. Use this winter to try out some new recipes or cook up some old family favorites, heating your home in the process (win-win)!

2. Heated Blankets, Pads, & More

Heated blankets are a great way to stay warm at a very low cost. When an extra cold day comes around, grab the heated blanket and your favorite book and stay cozy all day long. For more of an on-the-go heating option, there are heating pads, hot water bottles, and even heated floor mats for when you are sitting at your desk.

3. Insulation and Drafts

A key way to keep the cold out of your home is to upgrade your home insulation. There are several types of insulation you can add to your home in order to keep things cozier. Additionally, if you notice a cold breeze coming from certain doors or windows, there are several easy and inexpensive ways to seal windows or add draft protectors to doors.

Our South Florida pros are here to help you stay comfortable in your home. If you need a new AC or some help with home heating, give us a call at (954) 228-5965 or fill out a form online!