Keep your fingers and toes warm this winter without hurting yourself or your home by following safe space heater practices.‘Tis the season for cold fingers and toes. And that could mean you’re digging your space heater out to offset the winter chill. 

Those little powerhouses can pack a big punch when it comes to heating your space, but that also means they are a huge safety concern. In fact, Consumer Reports says more than 6,000 people end up in the ER every year with burns from space heaters! House fires are also a common symptom of having a space heater in your home.

If you have one or are thinking about getting one, keep reading for tips and even some space heater recommendations so you can lower your chances of having to use our fire restoration services in Sioux Falls this winter!

Choosing a Space Heater

The decision to buy a space heater shouldn’t be a scary one, as long as you do your due diligence up front and find a space heater that is truly safe. There are a couple of considerations to keep in mind when examining the safety features of your next space heater: 

  • Look for a heater that has a label saying that it’s been certified from an independent lab like UL, ETL, or CSA International. Proper testing is incredibly important so that you can trust your space heater to do its part in keeping your home safe. 
  • Make sure you choose a heater with an auto-off, in case the heater becomes too hot or tips over.

Need a little help deciding? You can find a comprehensive list of space heaters, reviewed and tested by Consumer Reports, right here.

Using a Space Heater

Found a space heater? Awesome! Once you’ve made a confident and safe space heater choice, your safety work is…not done. We have eight tips for keeping your space heater in your life without burning yourself or your house.

  1. Read the instruction manual for your space heater. It will share important information like how long you can safely leave the space heater on.
  2. Use your space heater properly. It’s not a good alternative to other heating elements like a stove or a clothes dryer, so don’t use it as though it were! Let it keep you warm and call that good.
  3. Keep in mind that whatever you set your space heater on must be heat-resistant. That means you should avoid setting your space heater on soft or wooden materials that could overheat such as footstools, cabinets, etc. It’s designed to be set on the floor, so leave it there.
  4. Keep your space heater out of the way of heavy-traffic areas. Think about where people walk when you’re choosing where to put it! 
  5. Plug your space heater directly into the wall so that you don’t run the risk of overheating an electrical strip or extension cord. An overheated electrical cord is a fire hazard!
  6. Don’t leave your space heater unattended or in a child’s room. Turn it off if you’re about to fall asleep, unplug it when you’re done using it and don’t leave children alone with it. They’re curious and can burn their little hands! 
  7. Replace your heater if the cord gets frayed or damaged. A worn-out cord is a safety hazard that could cause a fire.
  8. Keep your space heater at least 3 feet away from fabric such as curtains and bedding. Soft materials are especially flammable when they’re as warm as a space heater can make them.

By following these tips, you can lower your risk for a house fire. And if the worst happens, we’ll be there. We can help with fire damage restoration and even help you navigate insurance. Just give us a call.

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