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Using space heaters safely

Space heaters can be used to warm areas of the house and garage, but they can be dangerous. Here are some tips for using them safely.

Whether your country home is 100 years old or brand new, chances are when the temperatures drop, there will be a chilly corner or two. Space heaters can be useful for warming cold areas of the house and garage, but if used improperly, they can be very dangerous. By following a few simple precautions, you can say warm and stay safe.

Safety is a top consideration when using space heaters. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths. An estimated 6,000 persons receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting hot surfaces of room heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:

  • Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label attached to it.
  • Choose a thermostatically controlled heaters, since they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
  • Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table.
  • Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.

 

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