When the winter comes up, especially in colder countries like the US and Canada, the demand for room heaters goes high. In colder countries, room heaters have become common appliances for almost every house. It provides much-needed warmth during the chilly months of the year. Although heaters are life savers in chilly winter, if not used properly, they can pose serious health issues and other hazards in your house.
One of the bloggers Niki from TheAirfy has quite well explained in one of her articles about the safety concerns of Kerosene heaters, which is one of the most dangerous types of heaters if they are used for long hours. Similarly, different room heaters may have different concerns that we must consider for their safe usage. That is what we are going to discuss in this article all the safety measures you need to consider while using room heaters.
Fires, burns, and carbon monoxide poisoning are among the potential risks associated with room heaters. To ensure the safe and effective use of room heaters, it is essential to follow certain safety guidelines. In this article, we will discuss various safety tips that should be adhered to when using a room heater.
Tips to Follow if You are Using a Room Heater
Choose the Right Heater
As I already mentioned above, a blogger mentions Kerosene heaters which are dangerous, it is of utmost importance that you understand different types of heaters and the dangers associated with them. Where some heaters are very dangerous, and some are not. For example, Kerosene heaters are dangerous, whereas Oil-filled radiator heaters are considered to be the safest room heaters out there.
Thus, before even using a room heater, it’s crucial to select the appropriate type for your needs. There are several types of room heaters available, including convection heaters, radiant heaters, ceramic heaters, Oil-filled radiators, kerosene heaters, etc.. Consider factors such as the size of the room, the heating capacity of the heater, and its energy efficiency. Always purchase heaters that are certified by recognized safety organizations, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association), to ensure their safety standards.
If you ask me to choose a safe room heater, I will choose an Oil-filled Radiator heater as it is one of the best heaters for health and also in terms of safety.
Read the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Once you’ve purchased a room heater, carefully read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions provided in the user manual. The manual contains important information about the heater’s operation, safety precautions, and maintenance guidelines. If you follow the guidelines, you will be able to prevent hazards that are associated with specific types of heaters.
Keep Flammable Materials Away
One of the most critical safety tips is to keep all flammable materials, such as curtains, furniture, paper, and clothing, at least three 3-4 feet away from the heater. Room heaters can become extremely hot, and any contact with flammable items can lead to fires which can be life-threatening while you are in sleep. Also, it can have a big property loss if fire expands inside the house.
Use a Stable Surface
Never place the room heater on a table or surface which is not stable. Because your heater may fall off when it is placed on an uneven surface or unstable table or stool. A little collision with the kids or pets, the heater may fall off and can lead to fire if it is On.
Always place the room heater on a stable, flat surface. Avoid setting it on uneven or wobbly surfaces. This can cause the heater to tip over, potentially leading to accidents.
Plug Directly into a Wall Outlet
Heaters are high-powered appliances, and thus, never use an extension cord or power strip to connect them because they usually have thin wires that don’t have much resistance. It can melt those thin wires if used for a few hours. Thus, always plug your room heater directly into a wall outlet to prevent such hazards.
Regularly Inspect the Power Cord
Examine the power cord for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice frayed wires, exposed conductors, or damaged plugs, discontinue use immediately and replace the cord. A damaged cord can lead to electrical fires.
Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors
This is a must-have because when you use room heaters, CO gas may emit, which is a dangerous gas. If you are exposed to this gas for a long time, it can be life-threatening. Not all heaters emit CO, but if you are using a gas or Kerosene heater, a good amount of CO gas is emitted, and the room’s Oxygene level goes down. Thus, it is important to have a CO detector so that you can keep a check on the CO levels indoors. If it reaches high levels, you should instantly shut off the heater and also have the doors open to let the fresh air come in.
Since CO gas is odorless, you cannot detect it without a detector, there is a need for a CO detector when you use heaters.
Never Leave a Heater Unattended
It’s crucial never to leave a room heater running unattended. Turn off the heater when leaving the room or going to bed to reduce the risk of accidents.
Don’t Overload Circuits
Avoid overloading electrical circuits by plugging multiple heaters or other high-wattage appliances into the same circuit. This can lead to electrical fires or circuit breakers tripping.
Keep Children and Pets Away
If you have pets and children in your house, make sure that they are kept away from room heaters. The surfaces of the heaters can become extremely hot, and accidental contact can result in burns.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
If you’re using a fuel-based heater, make sure the room is adequately ventilated to prevent the buildup of toxic gases like carbon monoxide. You must keep a ventilator or something that lets the fresh air come in.
Perform regular maintenance on your room heater as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. This may include cleaning the heater, changing filters, and checking for any loose or damaged parts.
Room heaters are a valuable source of warmth during the cold months, but they can be dangerous if not used with caution. Following these safety tips can help you enjoy the comfort of a room heater while minimizing the risk of accidents or fires. Always prioritize safety and be vigilant when using any heating appliance to protect yourself, your family, and your home.