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What should I know about space heater safety?

When the seasons change and winter sets in, there may be times when you need a little more warmth. Space heaters are often an ideal choice for heating immediate spaces or using when you do not have the need for a full-time heat source in a space.

If you use space heaters, you need to be aware that they can be quite dangerous. These heaters can easily cause a fire. Sometimes, this is due to user error, but it also can be due to a defect. To best protect yourself, you should learn the safety guidelines for proper use.

Keep away from flammable items

The New York Times explains that one important rule to follow is to provide adequate space around a space heater when it is operating. You want to be sure it is not near anything flammable. Make sure that you keep it away from curtains, bedding and furniture. You should put it directly on the floor and never on a rug as well.

Use flat surfaces

A space heater should always sit on a flat surface. If it tips over, it should have an emergency switch that will shut it off, but if this switch malfunctions, it could cause a fire. When the heater falls over, the elements may come in contact with the ground. The best way to avoid tip over issues is to always place it on a flat and stable surface, which is almost always the ground.

Avoid water

Space heaters operate with electricity, which means you need to keep them away from water. Many people like to use them in the bathroom, but you should not do so if you do not have enough room in the space to keep the heater away from water sources.