Numerous families utilize small electric space heaters during the winter. The typical reasons are when the home’s heating system is inadequate, for supplemental heat in bathrooms as opposed to heating up the entire home for a shower, or when the cost of operating the main heat is too costly for the budget. They are also used as supplemental heat for family members sensitive to the cold, such as elderly family members. Observe the following safety considerations when using space heaters. When you need electrical services, contact Mister Sparky’s expert electricians in Huntsville, AL to schedule service today.
While the majority of space heaters work by convection, some rely on radiant heating. Radiant heaters are an efficient choice when you will be in a room for only a small amount of time, and where you can keep an eye on them.
However, any homeowner who utilizes space heaters for any reason should be aware that safety is essential when using them. Furthermore, realizing how many fires occur each year related to space heaters underscores the importance of observing all safety precautions.
More than 25,000 residential fires are related to the use of space heaters every year, resulting in more than 300 deaths annually. The greatest number of electrical fires begins in the bedroom, but the highest number of fatalities occurs in the living room, family room, and den.
Causes of electrical fires include faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances. In addition, faulty appliance cords, receptacles, and switches are also common causes. Replace the cord of an appliance when it is worn or frayed, or simply replace the appliance for a new model with modern safety features.
Never run cords under rugs, as the cord heats up it can cause a fire. Furthermore, do not remove the grounding plug from a cord so it can be used in an outdated two-prong electrical outlet. The extra prong ensures they can be only used in outlets capable of handling the extra amount of electricity that space heaters consume. Homes with two prong plugs are part of an outdated electrical system not meant to carry todays numerous appliances and electrical use. Contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL for inspection of your home’s electrical system, diagnosis and repair.
When purchasing a small space heater, follow these guidelines to increase safety in your home:
Purchase models that have the current safety features, and display the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
Select a heater with a thermostat to avoid the waste of energy, and the risk of overheating a room.
Buy a heater with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if the unit is tipped over.
Choose the appropriate size of heater for the room. Do not purchase oversized or undersized heaters. Most heaters indicate the square footage for which they are recommended.
Always place the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, and combustible materials. Exercise caution when using around small children and pets. Always maintain a distance of at least 3 ft. around the space heater. Read your owner’s manual for additional information.
Electric Space Heaters
Electric space heaters are the only unvented space heaters that are safe to operate inside your home. Although carbon monoxide is not an issue with electric space heaters, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution.
Only plug electric heaters directly into the wall outlet. Misuse of extension cords is an additional cause of electrical fires. If your home lacks the sufficient number or type of outlets, contact Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL to install additional outlets.
When circuit breakers consistently trip when using an electric space heater, your home’s wiring is probably being overloaded. If using more than one space heater try moving heaters to other circuits with no more than one on each circuit. This can especially be an issue in older homes. Overloaded circuits are a major fire risk. Mister Sparky’s licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL can provide the repair you need of electrical problems.
In addition, outdated wiring can cause electrical fires, especially in home’s that are over twenty years old. Older electrical systems are less likely to have the wiring capacity to handle the growing number of modern electrical appliances. Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL can inspect your electrical system, identify any problems and provide the necessary repairs to bring your home up to code.
Mister Sparky’s electricians in Huntsville, AL are available to provide the electrical repair that you need. If you are experiencing electrical problems, or have outdated wiring, schedule service with our licensed electricians in Huntsville, AL. Ensure you are aware of the guidelines for safe use of electrical space heaters. Our experienced electricians serve the North Alabama region with exemplary service, and a commitment to your satisfaction. Mister Sparky is a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.