When people think of life in South Florida, they automatically assume hot, summer-like temperatures every day of the year. While this is 90% true, we still experience our fair share of cooler temperatures. This is especially true on rainy days that so often occur in Florida. While our cold weather doesn’t quite dip as far as our Northern counterparts, it does get cool enough for some residents to break out their space heaters.
Space heaters are a great resource to have on those particularly chilly days where the heater can’t quite reach certain parts of your home or office. Unfortunately, space heaters are also responsible for nearly 32% of heating fires and 80% of home heating fire-related deaths. With this in mind, Action Cooling & Heating of Fort Meyers shares a few safety tips to keep your property safe when using a space heater.
For starters, before you purchase a space heater, you should know what its primary purpose will be. Will the unit be used as primary heat, supplemental heat, or emergency heat? This is important to know because you can correctly assess your needs and by the space heater that most accurately fits your needs. In general, electric space heaters are typically safer than fuel-burning space heaters that use fuel such as kerosene or propane.
When you use your space heater, there should be a good amount of clearance between the unit and anything around it. The rule of thumb is at least 36 inches from the space heater and anything that is combustible or flammable. Don’t put your space heater in the path of high traffic areas. This leave you open for serious injury if someone in your home should touch it or bump into it accidentally. For fuel-burning space heaters, in addition to the 36-inches rule, you also want to have it located in a well ventilated area. Though it may sound counterproductive, you should keep a window open. This will prevent the depletion of oxygen and the accumulation of carbon monoxide
Additionally, you want to choose a space heater that has built in safety features for added security. Some of these features include automatic shut offs for overheating, touch sensors, and low oxygen warnings. All of these issues, plus more, can be serious problems if left unmonitored or allowed to progress. A space heater that provides these automatic shut off features can give you a little more peace of mind when using your unit.
As always, be sure to monitor your space heater. Don’t always rely on technology to keep you safe. In your efforts to keep your house warm, you don’t want to burn it down and be left in the cold. Follow all safety guidelines and stay warm.