Keeping yourself warm can be a challenge during the winter, especially if you do not have the grid to the central heating system. However, there is a relatively cheap and efficient way to make yourself warm and cozy during the winters. This problem can be solved by using the space heater, which can provide a portable and efficient solution to your coldness problem. But a space heater is a piece of equipment that should be used with great care and caution, and you should not use any flammable and fire-catching material near them, especially carpets and curtains.
This article explores the safety and precautions while using any space later and discusses why we should never use them near carpets and curtains. And if there is an extreme need to do that, we will also discuss preventive measures and the hazards.
What Are Space Heaters, And Why Are They Considered As A Hazard?
Space heaters are portable equipment used to provide heat to small rooms and spaces. They are convenient and perfect for the winter season, especially when you can not spend too much on electricity bills or afford costly devices. Still, like other electrical substances, they must not be underestimated when it comes to safety. Moreover, they also have heating elements which can also contribute to electrical and fire hazards.
The US Department of Energy provides some rules for using space heaters; they mentioned that they should use proper ventilation as the by-products are harmful to your health. Also, according to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments responded to almost 50 thousand fire incidents in a year in the United States between 2012 and 2016; this is about 15% of all the fire incidents reported in these years. Also, it is said that space heaters are responsible for almost two in every five fire incidents in households. The fire caused by space heaters took the life of 86% of the total casualties due to the home fire incidents. Space heaters cause 78% of civilian injuries due to fire incidents. However, space heaters makers are using more safety features to make the space heaters safer than before. Due to this data basis, space heaters should be used with extreme caution and safety.
Why Should You Never Place Your Space Heater On Carpets?
A space heater should never be used and placed on carpets or other combustible material due to the following reasons:
- The carpet’s surface can quickly get out and catch fire due to the heat of space heaters.
- There is also a risk of extension of oxygen tanks of space heaters when they are placed on carpets
- The chemical fuels used to clean the carpets may also be evaporated due to heat and cause a toxic smell.
- Space heaters are not designed to operate on carpets.
Where Should The Space Heaters Be Placed?
These points should be considered when placing the space heaters for use to make their working safe:
- Do not direct your space heaters towards the windows or doors. Instead, direct them towards the wall.
- Space heaters need to be placed in an area beyond the reach of children and pets. If that is not possible, keep the space heaters under observation
- Do not use the extension wire in powering the space heaters.
- Do not use the space heaters in place that can be under sunlight.
- Use your space heater in an area that is dry and cool.
- Ensure that there is nothing around the space heater or under it that may cause air-flowing hindrance.
- Make a distance of at least 3 feet between any flammable object such as a curtain, pillow, furniture, plastic, etc.
What If There Is No Other Option Then Using It On Carpet?
If you have carpet flowing all around in your house and there is no place to use the space heater other than carpet, you should use them with extreme caution. Make sure to consider the following safety parameters before using them on the carpet:
- Place any hard material piece on carpet and then place a heater on it, which is less dangerous than putting it directly on the carpet
- Do not place the wire of space heaters under the carpet or near the curtain.
- Unplug everything else from the socket where you are using your space heater.
- Please do not use the extension wire to power your space heaters as they are more prone to catch fire.
- Remove the furniture from the 3 feet radius of your space heater for better airflow. The air trap under the heater may get extremely hot and catch fire.
What Should Be Considered When Purchasing Space Heaters?
Modern space heaters use various safety features, making them safer to use. There are generally two types of space heaters: fossil-fuel-fed space heaters and electric space heaters. Fossil fuel-fed space heaters are considered more harmful as they possess both heating hazards and chemical and suffocation hazards. The toxic chemicals produced are dangerous to pets, children, and adults. That is why Combustible space heaters are not considered safe options when using them inside the house. On the other hand, electrical space heaters are considered a far safer option, but they also should be used with precautions. When you go buying a new space heater, you should consider the following safety features:
This safety feature is enabled in modern space heaters to make them safer to use. The function of tip-over protection is to shut off the space heaters when they are disturbed or accidentally knocked over.
Over Heat Protection
This function allows the automatic turn-off of the space heater when it detects overheating. The overheating alert is a valuable feature in saving from many accidents.
Heat Resistant Material
Newer models are designed with a more heat-resistant material that is cool to touch. This safety design should be considered a priority when you have pets and children in your home.
The space heaters you are purchasing must be certified and recognized by a reputable laboratory. Certifications such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Interlink Group (ITL), Canadian Standard Association (CSA) are some of the authentication credentials you should look for.
Space heaters are the cost-effective and easy solution to the winter chills. However, they must use extreme caution as they are the primary cause of house fires and significantly contribute to house fire casualties and injuries. Utilizing the space heaters on the carpet surface is a big NO, but you should do that with extreme caution if you have no other choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Space Heaters Catch Fire Easily?
Space heaters are used by millions of people worldwide to get rid of cold, but they are the primary contributor to home fire incidents and are the leading cause of death and injuries due to fire incidents. If not correctly used, they can easily catch fire and cause harm.
Can I Sleep With The Space Heater On?
It is not recommended to use the space heaters while sleeping. Although, you should use them to heat the room and sleep after turning them off. But the modern space heaters allow you to have a safe sleep thanks to their safety features. They are also equipped with a timer to shut them off automatically.