Staying Safe and Warm During Winter Weather
Space heaters can add comfort to a cold day, help conserve energy, and make your winter more pleasant. But they also present some risks that you need to be aware of when using them. Here are some helpful tips to minimize your risk and maximize safety and comfort.
- Select a space heater with a guard around the heating element. This will help keep children, pets and clothing away from the heat source.
- Children should not be permitted to either adjust the controls or move the heater.
- Look for a space heater that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory.
- Read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions and keep the owner's manual in a convenient place for easy referral.
- Make sure heaters are at least three feet away from objects such as bedding, furniture and drapes. Do not place heaters where towels or other objects could fall on the heater and start a fire.
- Never use heaters to dry clothes or shoes.
- Be certain that your heater is placed on a level, hard and non-flammable surface, not on rugs or carpets. Never place heaters on furniture.
- Don't use space heaters in wet or moist places, such as bathrooms. Corrosion or other damage to parts in the heater may lead to fire or shock hazard. And never touch an electric space heater when wet.
- Do not hide cords under rugs or carpets. Placing anything on top of the cord could cause the cord to overheat, and can cause a fire. Make sure the cord is heavy-duty with a 14 gauge or larger wire. An incorrectly sized cord may create a fire hazard. And avoid overloading your circuit.
- Room heaters need frequent check-ups and cleaning. A dirty or neglected heater is a critical fire hazard.