As the colder temperatures of winter start sneaking up, many people start dragging out the space heaters. They're a convenient way to keep your room warm and comfortable when it isn't quite cold enough to turn up the heat. Unfortunately, those space heaters are also the source of more than 30 percent of home fires during the winter months. If you want to reduce the risk of a guest in your home being a victim of an injury from a space heater fire, here are some essential safety tips.
- Keep It Stable – Never place a space heater in a position where it isn't level and stable. If you turn on your heater and it appears wobbly or it seems to be rocking, turn it off and move it to a position where it is secure. This reduces the risk of having the heater tip over and ignite something in the area.
- Keep It Isolated – Put your space heater in a location where it's several feet away from your walls, curtains, furniture and other objects in the room. The more flammable an object is, the further it needs to be from the heater. This is particularly important for bedding, pillows, curtains and similar objects. Remember that it doesn't take much for flammable objects to ignite, so take the precautions to keep them safe from the heater.
- Keep It Monitored – Never leave a space heater running if you're sleeping or won't be in the room for an extended period of time. Leaving a space heater on in a room where it's unattended is an invitation for disaster. Even if you're in the same room and only sleeping, you may not notice a fire when it starts. Always set the timer on your heater so that you don't risk absentmindedly leaving it unattended.
- Keep It Safe – Space heaters should always be in optimal shape before you use them. Avoid using a heater that has any obvious damage, even if it's just fraying on the power cord. Using a space heater that has wear or damage can increase your risk of an electrical short or fire. Instead, replace the damaged heater immediately. Another key safety consideration is an automatic heat override. This will shut the heater down if it starts to overheat. This safety feature can protect your home from excessive heat that could cause a fire.
With the tips presented here, you can use a space heater in your house safely. Understanding these safety considerations is an important part of reducing the chances of injury, which can protect you from a personal injury lawsuit in the event that a guest or friend is injured from a space heater fire. For more questions about the risk of a personal injury suit from negligent space heater handling, talk with a personal injury attorney.