Is There a Safe Way to Use Space Heaters?

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space heater on floor

Space heaters are commonly used in drafty homes and as backups when a home’s central heating goes out or is in need of repair.

But, according to the National Fire Protection Association, the vast majority of home heating fire deaths – 81% – are caused by space heaters.

So, can you safely use space heaters?

Your Brooklyn HVAC experts at Petri Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning, Heating, Cooling & Drain Cleaning want you to know that space heaters are ONLY meant to provide supplemental heat and should NEVER be used to warm bedding, cook or thaw pipes.

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How to Safely Use A Space Heater

In fact, while we’re not fans of these pieces of equipment, we realize they may need to be used in a pinch, so please follow these important tips should you have to use them in an emergency situation.

  1. Check space heaters frequently for damages. Make sure the plug, the cord, the wall outlet or the faceplate remains cool. If any of these parts are hot, unplug the appliance immediately. This means that the product is damaged or defective and could catch fire.
  2. Run it in spurts. Don’t leave them running for hours on end. Remember that space heaters are supplemental or to keep rooms warm while your main source of heat is being repaired.
  3. Unplug it. When you are not using the space heater, unplug it. Without a power source, it cannot catch fire.
  4. Keep it away from anything flammable. Do not put a space heater near furniture, window treatments or bedding. Keep it in the middle of the room away.
  5. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. They can burn themselves or knock the heater over, causing the elements to touch flammable objects.
  6. Invest in a space heater with an automatic shut-off. While you’re at it, try to purchase a space heater with tip-over protection. This shuts off the heater should it be knocked on its side.
  7. Make sure you have working fire and carbon monoxide alarms. Even if you’re as careful as possible, things could still go wrong. Making sure your alarms are in good working order can save your life.
  8. Never leave it unattended when in use. If you have to leave the room or go out for a quick errand, shut it off. It may be cold in the home when you return, but you won’t be risking fire damage.

Brooklyn Heating Experts Here to Help

As your Brooklyn heating experts, we do not recommend the prolonged use of space heaters but realize they are sometimes necessary when your heating goes out and the weather is very cold. Read our blog post on how to help prevent heating mishaps so you, hopefully, will never have to use space heaters.

But, if your heating leaves you cold and needs immediate attention, contact our 24/7 emergency services for heating repair in Brooklyn!

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