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Safely using space heaters

Blog Safely using space heaters

We completely renovated and expanded our office during the summer of 2019! Since we were in the process of installing our office furnace, we had to break out the space heaters in the meantime.

A space heater is often used as a temporary, cost-effective solution in many office spaces and homes that do not have a central heating system.

Since the interior of the heater can reach a staggering 600-700 degrees F, it is imperative that they are used safely. Nearly 25,000 house fires are started by negligent use of space heaters each year. Be sure to read through these guidelines carefully before plugging in your space heater.

How you can safely use space heaters

Never plug into a power strip

This is one of the biggest and least-known dangers of using a space heater, so we put it first on our list. You should never plug a space heater into an extension cord or a power strip. The power strip cannot handle the power that a space heater will put out.

Instead, always plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet.

Keep three feet away from anything flammable

The interior of the unit averages 500-600 degrees F. There should be at least three feet between the heater and any flammable materials. This includes paper, loose clothing, upholstery, etc.

Additionally, keep yourself, children, and any pets at least three feet away from the heater as well.

Never leave the unit unattended

Many of the fires that were started by space heaters happened because they were left alone while people left the room or left them on overnight. We recommend only using space heaters equipped with an emergency shut-off feature. The heaters we have in our shop, for example, will immediately turn off if they are knocked over.

Even with this feature, however, it’s important that you always turn the space heater off, no matter how short a time you plan to be away.

Don't set the temperature too high

Use your space heater like you would your thermostat. When using a smaller unit, the temptation is there to set the heat higher than you would on your thermostat in hopes of warming up faster. However, you must remember to keep the heater at a reasonable temperature since you are heating a much smaller area.

Do not use them as a permanent solution

Space heaters are intended to be used temporarily. If your furnace is not working properly, give your favorite HVAC company a call (us).

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