They also advise avoiding gas and propane heaters that don't vent to the outside, and installing carbon monoxide detectors to alert you to this danger that you can't see or smell. Credit: Start by carving out a designated work area in your space. "If somebody bangs into it and knocks it over, it should go off automatically," says Murray. Although electric space heaters avoid indoor air quality concerns, they still pose burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution. "Some of them have timers, but I'm not too confident with that," says Murray. It's something people should be very careful with.". Want more tasty and festive holiday cookie recipes and tips? Keep space heaters away from water. At home, careful setup of your space heater is just as essential. Certainly, if they are not handled with care, they can be hazards. If you do use one of these heaters you should ventilate your home, as directed by the owner's manual, and using a carbon monoxide detector. Space heaters pose various risk factors, including carbon monoxide toxicity, fire, and dry skin. Don’t: Use space heaters to thaw pipes or dry clothing. While it may seem like an ideal way to keep them out of your kids' reach, they could fall or be pulled off and start a fire, become unplugged, or result in burns or other injuries. For more about how to safely use space heaters to keep your home warm this winter, and dangerous mistakes to avoid, read on: According to the NFPA, space heaters cause 43 percent of home heating fires and 85 percent of home heating fire-related deaths each year. This means you shouldn't let them touch them at all, play with the buttons, or move them, even if you are around to supervise. And whether you use a space heater or not, Murray stresses the importance of having functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, plus a home escape plan. Space heaters are dangerous. Consumer Reports adds that as tempting as it might be, you should never use a space heater to dry or warm up clothing or shoes, as that can also pose a fire risk. Adequate safety features: Space heaters can be dangerous—according to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters accounted for 44% of home-heating fires from 2012 to … "They will heat a room very nicely," he says, "without the possibility of something touching it and catching fire because there's no open element to burn something." While space heaters can be a quick way to heat up a chilly room, that warmth comes with a BIG warning label: Each year, space heaters are involved in 79% of fatal home heating fires. In addition to the risk of fire, the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering warns that space heaters that use kerosene, propane, and natural gas pose an additional risk of releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide into the air if they aren't properly vented, which can lead to serious health problems and even death. However, there are a number of other ways that space heaters can lead to accidents and injuries: Like any electrical device, they pose a shock hazard. Space heaters are not inherently dangerous. It is best to heat your bedroom 2-3 hours before you sleep – it will keep you warm or several hours before you go to bed. Misusing a space heater can increase fire and burn risks. That’s where our tips on space heater dangers come into play! Using Gas Or Kerosene Indoors. Keep your space heater at least THREE feet away from anything flammable. Learn how to minimize the spread of germs with an extra few seconds of scrubbing. This gas is colorless and odorless and affects the level of oxygen in the air. Keep everything from your countertops to your dining room chairs germ-free. Space Heater Safety in the Workplace | Travelers Insurance Space heaters are useful for keeping warm at work, but can be dangerous if used incorrectly. "First of all, it's an item people shouldn't shop for a bargain on," says Murray. Install your space heater without using an extension cord, since those can also heat up, and choose a spot that's out of your kids' and pets' paths. Once your heater is safely installed, you should never leave it running while it's unattended—and that includes when you're asleep. Use a space heater that has frayed insulation, broken wires or signs of overheating. One of the most dangerous aspects of vent-free space heater pollution is the production of carbon monoxide. They recommend installing interconnected smoke alarms — which will all go off at the same time — inside and outside each bedroom on every level of your home, and to test them monthly. "It gives people permission not to think about it. They’re mostly caused when a heater is placed too close to … These heaters cause at least 25,000 home fires a year, along with 6,000 emergency room visits, according to the Harvard University Environmental Health & … Get inspired to make your porch your new favorite living space with these ideas designed to add a refined look to any outdoor space. "Yes, they can be extremely dangerous," says Chief John Murray of the Nassau County Firefighters Museum and Education Center in Uniondale, New York. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. This might seem like common sense, but Consumer Reports warns parents to keep their kids away from space heaters. A space heater is sometimes viewed as a potentially dangerous appliance. Instead, it's best to not use one if you can't keep your kids a safe distance away. Proper space heater safety starts at the store. "Over the years I have seen—just from a space heater used improperly—fires and injuries and fatalities. Make sure to keep them away from any flammable materials, like curtains or blankets. You may not be as lucky as Ree Drummond, who has real fireplaces throughout both her home and her guest house, The Lodge, but you can fake it! While electric space heaters do not pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, the same can’t be said for their fuel-burning counterparts. According to Consumer Reports, you should never place a space heater on top of a dresser, table, or other piece of furniture. If you have more questions on "Are Space Heaters Dangerous" or would want a central heating system installed, don’t hesitate to send us a message here at Roger Stuth. However, they can be as dangerous as convenient if used improperly. Electric Space Heaters Can Cause Fires. So, the harmful gases like carbon monoxide are trapped in the room itself. Follow these tips for space heater safety in the workplace. They can be a fire hazard. Any space heater can pose a safety hazard. The NFPA adds that you should use gates to create a "safe zone" of at least three feet around your space heater, to keep kids and pets a safe distance away. Also Read - 7 … More than 25,000 fires occur in the U.S. each year because of space heaters, causing over 300 deaths. "To prevent it is the smart thing to do.". Space heaters are essentially an open heating element, comprised of super-heated metal coils. Be sure your heater is certified by one of the three major testing organizations and has features like automatic shutoff, tip over protection, a shut off timer, and adjustable thermostat. Use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak gas from the flue or exhaust into the indoor air space. Martha Stewart may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on Getty / Westend61. Follow directions during the install.. At home, careful setup of your space heater is just as essential. "The wire mesh still gets hot, so kids can get burned," says Murray. For a safer alternative, Murray recommends radiator-style oil-filled space heaters, which don't get as hot because the heating element is enclosed. Infrared space heaters emit rays that are absorbed by other items, which gently increases the temperature of the heaters' surroundings. Help them thrive even when the temperature drops. In fact, each year space heaters are responsible for about 55,000 fires, 450 deaths, and over 1,500 injuries. "Use it as it's supposed to be used." Why Are Space Heaters Dangerous? Martha Stewart is part of the Meredith Home Group. There are two types of space heaters: electric and fuel burning. Forgetting About Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors. According to Consumer Reports, electric space heaters might be a safer choice for indoor use, as they don't emit carbon monoxide or other pollutants, but they can still pose a risk of fire if you operate them near flammable materials (like curtains, bedding, or furniture), overload an electrical circuit, or leave them unattended. With a little common sense, … 31 Days of Christmas Cookies—It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year for Baking! Safe Electricity urges everyone in the home to understand the importance of using space heaters safely: Purchase only space heaters that have been safety tested and UL approved. They may also be a source of poisonous fumes. "There's always a three-foot rule," says Murray; that's the minimum distance you should leave between the heater and anything that could catch on fire: furniture, drapes, your child's stuffed animal basket, your half-dead Christmas tree. All rights reserved. A modern space heater can be very safe to keep on for long unsupervised periods of time, including while sleeping. Dangers Of Leaving Space Heaters Un-Attended And Powered-On. A space heater offers a quick, convenient and energy-efficient way to keep your room warm and comfortable. As Bill Spence, a Fire Marshal in Springfield, MO, told local ABC affiliate KSPR 33, you should even unplug your electric space heater when you aren't in the room to avoid a possible electrical fire. They can be just as deadly as candles or anything else." It is always recommended that you never leave an oil heater unattended for these reasons. In fact, each year space heaters are responsible for about 55,000 fires, 450 deaths, and more than 1,500 injuries. From which platforms to use and the best books to read, bibliophiles share their advice. Be sure to download our complete guide here! 'Tis the season to enjoy (and gift!) If you're buying a traditional version with wire mesh over the heating element, make sure the mesh is tightly secured, and don't settle for a heater without an automatic tip-over safety switch. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Portable space heaters can be a quick way to heat up a room. Choose a safe product.. About 25,000 house fires and 300 deaths are attributed to space heaters each year. They work differently than the other types of heaters you may be considering for your home or office. As temperatures drop, here are 10 things you need to know: Give the heater some space. When handled properly, space heaters can help homeowners save on utility bills. Space heaters are often maligned by experts because they are extremely dangerous. Electric space heaters are safe to use with birds, but according to the Bird Safety Corner “You should NEVER run a new electric space heater around birds unless you are certain it does not have a nonstick coating on it.“ Bird Safety Corner by This can lead to fire accidents. According to the NFPA, the best way to keep your family safe from home-heating dangers during the winter months is to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Use electric space heaters with automatic shut-off switches and non-glowing elements. The inhalation of carbon monoxide generated in an oil-filled space heater can lead to fatigue, dizziness and chest pain for people with heart disease. Mesh still gets hot, so kids can get burned, '' says Murray all summer long have lot. 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