Space heaters are undeniably a convenient and efficient way to heat some spaces including garages, bedrooms and workspaces like shops or offices areas. But, an often overlooked fact with space heaters is the dangers that they may catch nearby items on fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that the number of residential fires caused each year by portable space heaters exceeds 25,000 annually. Furthermore, an estimated 300 people are killed annually by fires caused from space heaters being used improperly. In addition to fires being started, thousands of people each year receive hospital treatment to treat burns caused by improper use or handling of space heaters.
When using a space heater, regardless of type, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s safety and operational instructions.
Some things to consider when purchasing a space heater are:
- Will you need to vent the space (propane heaters or kerosene heaters)
- Does the unit you’re purchasing carry the “Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label?
- The UL is a global independent safety science company with more than a century of innovating safety solutions from the public adoption of electricity.
- Does the unit have a built in thermostat to control the temperature?
- Does the unit have a safety feature that will disable it if it tips over?
- Will your unit be able to be placed away from flammable material and away from children and pets?
- Never leave your space heater unattended or running over night.
The proper use of a space heater can provide you with a great solution to heating a space and being energy efficient in your home. Be sure to properly use the space heater and avoid leaving it unattended or in an area where children might play.
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