This winter, you will want to be comfortably warm in your home while keeping your heating bill down. Space heaters are an effective way to achieve both ends – they are known for making small areas toasty warm and are cost-effective to run. However, it is important for you and others in Illinois to know that there are right and wrong ways to operate space heaters – and sometimes, despite taking the necessary precautions, a space heater is simply not safe to use at all.
According to the DIY Network, space heaters are responsible for four out of five deaths due to home heating fires, and are reported to be the cause of one-third of all home fires. Knowing this, why would you want to risk using a space heater at all? The answer is that most space heaters are safe when used correctly. A significant amount of fires and electric shocks are caused by improper handling of the electrical cord. To prevent an overheating cord or electrocution, avoid running the cord under a rug, using an extension cord or using a space heater with a cord that has visible damage.
Make sure that your space heater is positioned at least three feet away from combustible objects, such as curtains, furniture and bedding. When going to bed or leaving the room, turn your heater off and unplug the cord. Never use a space heater in your children’s room or leave children and pets unsupervised in a room with a space heater that is in use.
Finally, at the beginning of each cold season it is a good idea to search online for recalls of your particular space heater or a heater you are considering for purchase. This will inform you of any manufacturing problems that could lead to a dangerous malfunction of your space heater.