Space Heater Safety Tips – How to Keep Your Home Safe
January 27, 2023
As winter weather and cold temperatures continue to impact much of the country, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the City of Phoenix website both warn consumers that, while space heaters might help keep your home warm this winter, they can also be dangerous if not operated correctly. Fortunately, there are some space heater safety tips you and your family can follow to make these heating appliances safer to use in your home.
Sadly, the CPSC estimates that portable heaters, which include electric space heaters, were involved in an average of 1,700 fires yearly, resulting in an average of 70 deaths and 160 injuries annually from 2017 to 2019. According to the City of Phoenix and statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters account for more than 80 percent of home heating fire deaths.
But there are things you can do to help prevent that tragedy in your own home. The CPSC advises always plugging electric space heaters directly into a wall outlet, for instance, and never into an extension cord or power strip. That safety tip is to prevent the chances of the cord or strip overloading and causing a fire.
Children and pets should always be kept away from supplementary heating appliances, and space heaters should be at least three feet away from objects like bedding, furniture, draperies, and other combustibles at all times to better prevent a fire.
Space heaters should also never be kept on while you’re sleeping; as tempting as it may seem to leave them on to have a toasty bedroom at night, they should never, ever be left unattended, and you can’t monitor these heating appliances while you’re drifting off into dreamland.
As with any appliance, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to installing, operating, and maintaining your heating appliance. Of course, if you do so, and it malfunctions, you may have a defective product case on your hands, but you need to be sure you’re doing everything you can to operate it safely in the first place.
Finally, make sure you have a working smoke detector on every level of your home and close to any sleeping areas. You should check that it’s operating correctly often, and not just because of potential space heater fires – cooking and electrical fires can also result in real tragedy if a smoke detector isn’t working to alert members of the household to the danger.
These are just a few space heater safety tips you should keep in mind if you choose to operate one of these appliances in your home. You should also regularly check for products that have been recalled at www.cpsc.gov/recalls, to make sure space heaters or other household items remain safe to use.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective space heater or other appliance, please don’t hesitate to call the legal team at Phillips Law Group. We are committed to seeking justice for those who have been harmed, and our attorneys are available to discuss your case with you during a free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Contact us today to learn more.
Here’s to staying safe this winter – and staying warm!
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