Stay safe this winter with these space heater safety tips

Whether we are warming up a drafty space, needing extra heat or having to use them as a main heating source, Roanoke residents use space heaters in abundance during the cold winter months.

But space heaters are not always safe and homeowners should take extra caution when using them to heat their homes. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters cause 1,700 fires every year, resulting in 80 deaths and 160 injuries.

Here are some tips to stay safe if you have to use a space heater this winter:

Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet

Don’t plug them into extension cords or power strips. Space heaters can cause extension cords and power strips to overheat, which can cause a fire.

Only purchase space heaters with safety features

Older space heaters may not come with any safety features but newer models have features that turn them off automatically should they tip over or have overheat protections that shut off the unit if the components become too hot.

Place space heaters on solid surfaces

Space heaters should be placed on level, non-flammable surfaces and be kept away from children, pets and flammable items, like curtains or upholstery.

Turn off the space heater when you are not at home

While most space heaters do have tip-over cut-offs, it’s still good practice to turn off space heaters when no one is around to monitor them.

Chose space heaters that have safety certifications

Check to see the heater you have purchased has been approved by an independent testing organization such as Underwriter’s Laboratories.

Regularly inspect your space heater

Check for frayed wiring or loose connections and replace space heaters that show signs of such wear.

At Southern Trust Home Services, we want our neighbors and customers to stay safe this winter. If we can help you with any of your Roanoke heating needs, visit our website or call us at (540) 305-8559.

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