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Space Heaters and You: Safety Rules for Indoor Comfort You Need To Know

Extra Care Means Extra Safety

Indoor Comfort, heating

At the end of the day, we just want our families and friends, neighbors and the community at large to enjoy a safe, happy holiday season. Whether you enjoy state-of-the-art HVAC or a simple wall unit air conditioner for summer and a small space heater for winter, your well-being should be most important.

That’s why we devote a column to this topic every so often, even though it may apply to folks who will never call us to service a condenser, or streamline their ductwork.  Nevertheless, this information is critically important to anyone who uses a space heater. With more than 25,000 yearly residential fires and more than 6,000 ER visits per year associated with the use of these portable units, these tips may save your life and those of the ones you love.

Rule #1:

Make sure your space heater is on a level surface, away from people, and pets who could tip it over or otherwise burn themselves on the unit.

That portable radiator may seem perfectly harmless in the corner of the living room overnight, but it only takes a curious cat to tip it over and start a fire. Likewise, a child can easily burn themselves by touching the unit, or inadvertently ignite a flammable toy, clothing, or paper with repeated contact.

Keep the space heater on a shelf or otherwise secured for maximum safety.

Rule #2:

Don’t use old space heaters. The good news is that they’re inexpensive enough to replace as needed at your local big box store or online. The newer models (made in the last two years or less) are safer than those from years gone by. Furthermore, make sure any unit you use features a label from the Underwriters Laboratory (UL). It’s about peace of mind.

Rule #3.

Don’t plug in your space heater to a power strip of any kind. Power strips can easily melt or malfunction, starting a fire. The Umatilla County Fire District in Hermiston, Oregon describes it this way:

“The weather is getting colder, and people are pulling out their space heaters. We just wanted to remind you that you should NEVER plug a heater into a power strip,” the fire department wrote on its Facebook page. “These units are not designed to handle the high current flow needed for a space heater and can overheat or even catch fire due to the added energy flow. Please share and stay safe this winter season.”

Home fires are no joke. Every holiday season features a story where a family has lost everything to a single moment of carelessness or distraction. Take the time to ensure your heating unit is safe and secure. We want you as a customer, not to read about you as a news story. Your conscientiousness will pay off in a cozy, comfortable home all season long.

Central heating is safer and costs less to install than ever before. Call Air-Tro today for your consultation. (626) 357-3535.