Are Space Heaters Really Safe?

List: Posted: 03/18/11

When you want to heat a particular room or space in your home without cranking the thermostat, space heaters can seem like the best choice.  There is a lot of debate, however, over whether or not these heaters are really safe for your home.  

Space heaters are certainly risky if used improperly.  For starters, if you have an old heater that is more than 5 years old, toss it out and visit your nearby hardware store to get a new one.  Never use an old space heater that is not designed to shut off immediately if it is knocked over or falls down.  This is incredibly dangerous, but new heaters are designed to prevent this.

Space heaters should also be kept a number of feet away from clothing, bedding, furniture, and curtains.  This is because they give off such a high level of heat and can easily ignite thin material such as drapes or curtains.  Consult the packaging with your particular heater to learn how far away it needs to be.

Another concern with space heaters is pets and children.  Because the coils inside the heaters get incredibly hot, it is possible for kids playing with the heater or an animal brushing against it to be burned.  Space heaters are generally best only in rooms where adults are present, and children and pets should never be left unattended near space heaters that are turned on.

With all of this in mind, space heaters can be a cheap and effective heating solution.  With the right precautions and a newer model that is designed for optimal safety, a space heater can be a great way to keep your room warm without having to make everyone else in the house suffer and sweat.

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