Three Safety Tips When Using Temporary Heaters

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18 Jan
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We all know what a heater is.

It’s a standard device used to heat a single, small or medium-sized area, which is obviously different from central heating, that connects and heats multiple areas at once.

These heaters can run on electricity or burnable fuel. But whatever the case, they require constant vigilance to ensure nothing dangerous arises. Despite that fact, many people seem to have the misconception that they’re without their own set of risks.

If you have that misconception or you’re interested in being as safe as possible, you’re in the right place. At Preferred Climate Solutions, we have over 17 years of experience dealing with portable heaters, so you can have confidence in us.

In this post, we’ll include three safety tips that you need to stick by and ensure everyone else does as well.

Our first safety tip is one that too many forget.

Heaters belong on the floor.

We know that it could be tempting to place your heater in a place that you deem optimal. However, unless you are told explicitly by a professional that you can keep your heater on another object or suspend it, you should never attempt to do so.

Ideally, you should keep your heater on hard, solid ground, including tile, wood flooring, concrete, and other things of that nature. You can sometimes get away with putting it on a rug or some short carpet, but it should be avoided if possible.

We understand that it seems safe, yet heaters are put at risk of tipping over or even overheating on those sorts of surfaces.

Avoid plugging it into anything other than a wall outlet.

Typically, most heaters come with enough slack that you can plug them directly into the wall without using an extension cord or anything else, and that’s for a good reason.

Heaters are usually designed only to be plugged directly into the wall. Manufacturers often advise against using surge protectors, extension cords, outlets with reset buttons or plug timers.

The added layers of electrical connection can sometimes cause the circuit to overload or create resistance that could allow the heat to build up. That could spring into a fire or internal damage.

You should also keep your heater away from the wall, at least by a few feet. That’s so the wall itself doesn’t overheat, causing a whole other problem. One final note about plugging the heater in, avoid using a plug that’s out of sight.

Whenever possible, you want to see the plug. Places like behind a dresser, behind a door or anything that obstructs your line of sight is bad.

Additional point: Never leave it alone

On a similar note as not letting the plug out of sight, the same idea applies to the actual heater.

You always want to be in the same room as the unit, especially if there’s a child around. The U.S. Fire Administration suggests keeping young children at least three feet from a heater. In addition to the obvious fire risk, a young child could also receive a nasty burn or shock.

If you do happen to leave the room unoccupied, you need to turn it off and unplug it a minute or two before leaving.

Test your smoke detectors often.

This can seem like an over-the-top safety tip. We know. With that said, it’s nonetheless essential.

Of course, all of our other tips aim to prevent the worst-case scenario of a fire, but we also want to ensure that you and your loved ones or coworkers are thoroughly prepared.

You should always have up-to-date, working smoke alarms. It’s a good idea to test your smoke detectors and make sure they’re working before you begin using your space heater.

Even after you’ve confirmed they work, you should test them once a month to ensure the batteries still work. Note that the NFPA recommends you replace your smoke detectors every ten years.

Bonus tips:

  1. Make sure that the heater you have or are going to use has an automatic shut-off switch. If something goes wrong and the heater is knocked over or overheats, that function can save a life.
  2. Keep it away from water. You most likely know this one without somebody telling you. But just be clear and safe, we’re telling you again.
  3. Remove any flammable objects from the area. You should aim to keep a good few feet between any object that could overheat or catch fire and your heater.

The final thing that we’ll say, use your common sense. If you’re using your heater and something feels off, then turn it off and unplug it. There’s no sense at all in risking anything.

If you have more questions we could answer or need an AC, heater or air scrubber, we have your back. Contact Preferred Climate Solutions today.

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