As experienced providers of fire restoration in Springfield, Ohio, we’ve seen the aftermath of countless house and structural fires. One thing we’ve learned firsthand is just how easy it is for a fire to start and spread through a building. Often, it’s caused by something as simple as a space heater.
In fact, space heaters cause roughly 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths every year.
Though space heaters can be very effective at providing additional warmth during the winter months, they can become very dangerous when misused. If you plan to use space heaters in your home, garage, office, or any other location, please read the instructions and warning labels so you know how to properly use them.
For the sake of additional safety, we’ve put together some general guidance for space heater usage based on our own experiences.
Best Practices for Safe Space Heater Use
First and foremost, you should be using a space heater that has modern safety features. This includes things like tip-over protection, overheating protection, and casing that stays cool even when it’s in use. These features won’t eliminate all possibilities of danger, but they can significantly decrease the chances of a fire starting.
Once you have a quality space heater, make sure you give it room to breathe. Space heaters should be at least 3 feet away from everything, especially anything flammable like curtains, blankets, clothes, furniture, etc. If you’re using it in a garage or workspace, make sure it’s far away from any flammable chemicals or fumes as well.
Space heaters should always be set on a hard, level surface. Avoid placing it on a rug or carpet.
Never leave a space heater in use when you’re not around. Even if you’re just going to the bathroom or you’re grabbing something from another room, shut your space heater off when you step away. Similarly, don’t leave a space heater running when you sleep. Though the added warmth might be tempting, it’s simply not worth the risk. Instead, try turning up your home’s heating and/or piling on additional blankets.
We know that the cold winter months aren’t always easy to get through. Space heaters can definitely help make things a little more bearable. As long as you follow this advice and never forget how quickly a space heater can become a danger, you should be fine.