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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dangers of Portable Heaters Exposed

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Portable heater on hardwoods Dangers of Portable Heaters Exposed

As temperatures plunge keeping warm inside as well as outside is a necessity.  Even with central heating and air systems or gas heating units certain rooms may require an additional boost of warmth to provide comfort.  To meet this need portable space heaters are used.  According to the National Fire Protection Association heating equipment is the second leading cause of house fires in the United States and the third leading cause of death.  Is this mainly due to make and design of portable heating units or misuse by operators? 

Portable space heaters must meet certain regulatory requirements to be sold in the U.S. and most are UL rated for safety.  Additionally, when sold new, all portable heating units come with operator instructions that list proper operating procedures for safety.  With this being the case, the majority of fires caused by space heaters can be attributed to improper use by the operator.    In order to keep safe when using a portable heater follow these tips.

  • Do not place the heating unit near combustible materials, such as upholstery, bedding, clothing, paper etc.
  • Never leave a portable heater unattended.
  • Do not go to sleep with a portable heating system running.
  • Do not attempt to use portable heaters as a primary heating source.
  • Never use a portable heater with a frayed electrical plug.
  • Never place a portable heater into an outlet that is loose.
  • Never attach a portable heater to an extension cord.
  • Attach your portable heater on a circuit by itself due to the amount of energy it consumes.
  • Never run the electrical cord of the portable heating unit underneath a rug or carpet as this could result in a fire.
  • If the unit is defective do not use it.
  • Place portable heating units on flat surfaces where they can’t tip over.
  • Keep pets away from portable heating units.
  • Never use an outdoor space heater inside where it does not have proper ventilation. Improper use of this sort can result in death due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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