By Robin Shapiro

Space heaters usually include safety features which reduce the risk of fire. This does not mean that all of them are riskless. An article from a few years ago (probably still pertinent) discussed one interesting study on space heaters: At that time, they had caused approximately 20,000 home fires/year and 6,000 emergency room visits. One third of all home fires were caused by space heaters. Some homeowners insurance companies frown upon using them.

Many people use space heaters due to extreme weather. A well-known publication commented on their use:

  • Higher electric bills can result.
  • Fuel burning heaters are more dangerous than electric.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be functional.
  • Look for a testing lab label – UL, ETL, or CSA, which verifies compliance with U.S. safety standards.
  • Don’t leave it unattended while “on.”
  • Use on a flat surface where children and pets can’t reach it.
  • Don’t use it in a child’s room, on top of furniture, near combustible materials such as paint cans, bedding, or curtains.
  • Keep air intake and exhaust clear.
  • Don’t use in a damp area unless it’s designed for such use.
  • Don’t use if other devices in the same outlet can cause overheating.

Call me. Love, Robin

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