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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

General Guidelines for Space Heater Safety

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Space heaters are designed to supplement cold rooms and must be used with extreme caution. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), nearly half of all home heating fires occur during the peak months of December, January, and February.

According to NFPA - Space heaters are the type of heating equipment most often involved in home heating fires, figuring in two of every five of these fires and accounting for 86% of associated civilian deaths, 78% of civilian injuries, and 54% of direct property damage.

General Guidelines for Space Heater Safety

There are several ways people can prevent accidental fires in their homes. One of the most important is to select heaters that have been tested and certified by testing laboratories. Also, keep areas around the heat source free of paper and trash.

When choosing the placement of the heater, remember the three feet safety rule by keeping everything that can burn at least three feet away from the heat source. Only use the heaters to heat the small space. 

Place the space heater on a hard level nonflammable surface, never on carpet, blankets, or rugs. Never use a defective heater or one that is missing its heating element guard. Make sure you use the proper size space heater for the room.

When purchasing a new space heater, look for a model with an automatic shut-off in case the heater is left on too long. In addition, a tip-switch will automatically cut off the heat if the unit topples over. Even with the safety features, never leave the heater on when sleeping, out of the room, or away from home.

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