Every year there are tragic stories about home fires that result from improperly used electric heaters. It’s doubly tragic because these fires can be prevented. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, over 50% of all house fires and house fire deaths are caused by electric space heaters that are too close to things that can catch fire. Another cause of heater fires is failure to clean and maintain them. To safely enjoy the added warmth and convenience of a portable electric heater, follow these guidelines.
Keep Your Distance
Most electric heater fires begin because they’re placed too close to things like upholstered furniture, bedding, mattresses, etc. Before using a portable heater, read the manufacturer’s directions. Keep heaters at least three feet away from combustible items and never leave a heater unattended. When you go to bed at night, electric heaters need to be turned off.
Always keep kids and pets at least three feet from any portable heater. It’s too easy for them to bump into the heater and knock it over, or get burned from touching it. It goes without saying – but we’ll say it anyway – never leave a heater, kids, and pets together without supervision. As an added measure, when shopping for a space heater, look for one that automatically turns off if it’s knocked over.
Consult A Professional
If you’re adding a stationary space heater, such as electric base boards, have a qualified electrician install them. You may be tempted to tackle this as a do-it-yourself project, but don’t. Remember over 50% of home fires start with improperly used heaters. Don’t take chances with your family’s safety.
To round out your family’s fire safety plans, make sure everyone knows the best ways to exit your home in an emergency. Designate a meeting place outside so you’re sure everyone is safe. Make sure you always have working smoke and CO2 detectors throughout your home, and check them regularly.
The professionals at JM Mullen can help you prepare for the coldest winter months to ensure you’re warm and safe. We can install heaters and smoke detectors and advise you regarding any of your heating concerns. Call us today.