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Space Heater Safety Tips: Cut Costs and Stay Warm with Confidence

Staying warm during the Alabama winters shouldn’t come at a premium. And yet, heating costs are expected to rise this year — as much as 43% for those who heat their homes with oil and 30% for other forms of heating. That’s why many homeowners are supplementing their furnaces with electric space heaters. But can you do so safely?

Space heaters offer tons of economic benefits. But they’re also responsible for more than 1200 fires each year, which is about 43% of all home fires. How can you cut your costs and stay warm without sacrificing your safety?

Let’s look at some space heater safety tips to use this winter:

1. Use the Auto Shut-Off Feature

Many of today’s space heaters come with safety features, such as an automatic shut-off after a certain period. Make sure you understand your space heater’s unique features and know how to use them. The automatic shut-off ensures that if you do forget to turn off your heater, your window of risk will be smaller because it will eventually turn itself off.

2. Avoid Using Power Strips and Extension Cords

Always plug a space heater directly into a power outlet. Using extension cords and power strips could affect the voltage of the space heater, plus they could overheat and increase your risk of a fire.

3. Check the Space Heater’s Safety Certifications

Everyone loves a bargain, but choosing the cheapest space heater can be more costly than you realize. It’s important to use only trusted brands that have gone through lab testing and certification processes. Reputable companies are more likely to use quality parts and solid engineering to keep you warm and safe.

4. Never Leave a Space Heater Unattended

It’s best to only use a space heater when you can supervise it. This way, in case the worst case scenario does happen, you can more quickly respond to the situation and mitigate any damage. This not only helps to protect your property, but also ensures that other people in the home do not get burned by accident. Unplug space heaters when you leave the home or go to bed. And if you do have to leave the room for a moment, make sure others nearby know the space heater is on and hot so they can avoid contact.

5. Keep the Space Heater Away from Anything that Can Burn

From curtains to tablecloths, space heaters can catch other items on fire if they get hot enough. It’s best to keep the space heater at least three feet away from anything that might burn. Pay attention to your surroundings and err on the side of caution when in doubt.

6. Place the Space Heater on a Hard, Flat Surface

Space heaters should be secure when in use, so make sure it’s in an area where it won’t tip over. Avoid placing the space heater on soft or uneven surfaces, or on shelves where it might be easily bumped or knocked off.

7. Keep the Space Heater Out of Foot Traffic

Space heaters can create tripping hazards, especially in family rooms and other high-traffic areas. Make sure your space heater is in a place where others can easily get by without the risk of getting burned or bumped. Also, never block a door or exit with a space heater in case a fire or other emergency occurs.

Ready to stay warm this winter? Contact us today to schedule your HVAC tune-up and inspection.

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