As the wintry weather spreads throughout the southeast, we can’t help but do everything we can to stay warm. This includes using the ever so popular, space heaters. Safe Electricity is here to tell home owners how to protect themselves and their homes from catching fire from the helpful but deadly use of space heaters.
“When temperatures plunge, many people take out their space heaters to help them stay warm,” says Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity Program. “However, they can be deadly if they’re not used with care.”
The National Fire Protection Association reports that space heaters accounted for 33 percent of home heating fires and 81 percent of home heating fire deaths.
Safe Electricity shares the following tips for operating space heaters safely:
- Check space heaters before use. Cords should not be frayed, brittle or cracked.
- Many fires start when flammable products are placed too close to heating devices. Keep all flammable items at least three feet away.
- Place space heaters out of high traffic areas and on a level, hard, non-flammable floor surface. NOT on carpets, furniture or countertops.
- Always remember to turn off space heaters when not in use. Never leave one of these devices on unattended or after going to bed.
- Do not attempt to warm your entire home with space heaters. Space heaters are useful for small areas, such as a study or living room.
When finding yourself shopping for a space heater, look for one that has guards from heating elements and automatically shuts off if it is tipped over or overheating. Also be sure to check for a safety certification to verify that the product has been tested for safety. Once you purchase your new space heater, always make sure to read over the instruction manual very carefully before using the product.
To learn more on how to avoid electrical hazards while staying warm this winter, visit www.safeelectricity.org. If space heaters still aren’t working for you and your family, Atlanta Real Estate Forum is here to help with a large selection of brand new Atlanta homes.