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Space Heater Safety Tips

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Created by Privette Heating & Air Conditioning Admin

It's that time of year again where the weather gets colder, the air conditioners are turned off, and the heaters are turned on. For those of you that don't have an HVAC system, you probably use space heaters to warm you and your household. Space heaters work well when used properly, however they pose a danger to you and your family when they are not.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration:

- 890 people die in winter home fires each year.

- $2 billion in property loss occurs each year from winter home fires.

- Winter home fires account for only 8 percent of the total number of fires in the U.S., but result in 30 percent of all fire deaths.

- A heat source too close to combustibles is the leading factor contributing to the start of a winter home fire (15 percent).

- 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the most common time for winter home fires.

You can find out more information on the U.S. Fire Administration's website.

The following is a list of safety tips for using space heaters:

- Make sure your space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory.

- Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.

- Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.

- Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater. Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.

- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.

- Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.

- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.

- Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.

- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

- Keep space heaters away from water. Do not put in bathrooms unless it is designed to be in damp areas. Do not touch space heaters when wet.

If you are looking to buy a space heater, look at Sylvane's website to see the difference between electric and gas space heaters, sizes, and other useful information to consider before buying.

If you are looking to get rid of your space heaters and get a furnace, give us a call at 903-797-2678. We offer free estimates for installations, and we are an authorized Carrier dealer for the East Texas area.

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