Keeping our homes safe is always a priority for homeowners, but many fail to recognize the safety issues associated with an essential home comfort: home heating. According to the National Fire Protection Association, home heating mishaps are a significant cause of home fires in the United States, accounting for as many as 500 deaths and 1,300 injuries each year and a billion dollars in property loss.
How Do I Safely Use a Space Heater?
Like any tool, a space heater can be a valuable part of your home heating plan for the holidays. With holiday guests and parties, keeping the house uniformly warm can be a challenge. But there are important things to consider when choosing supplemental heat sources like space heaters.
- Choose a space heater meant for indoor use
While it can be tempting to grab the patio heater and use it to help heat the dining room for your holiday party, it’s a bad idea and potentially dangerous. Heaters meant for outdoor use often use fuel sources like kerosene or gasoline, and homeowners should never use them for indoor heaters. These heaters can be unsafe because of the way they vent exhaust, potentially filling your home with poisonous gas like carbon monoxide.
- Select a ceramic space heater
One of the other potential safety hazards of home space heaters is burns from the surface. Most space heaters use a form of convection heating. They have a piece that gets hot, and then air is forced over the hot part to warm the room. Some older models of home heaters had exposed metal wires or grates that could quickly burn a person. Look for a heater that keeps the heated parts safely away from your family and pets.
- Look for built-in safety features
Most modern space heaters have your family’s safety concerns at heart. Look for a space heater that will automatically shut off if it’s knocked over or if the heating element gets too hot. But even with these safety features, the best way to prevent accidental fires and injury from your space heater is only to operate it when someone is nearby and awake. Never leave a space heater running in an empty house or while you are sleeping.
- Be Careful With Placement.
Fires caused by home heaters often start because drapes or furniture are too close to the heater. As discussed, the heating elements can get very hot, as do some cords. They should never be placed under carpeting or rugs or close to furniture or drapery. Be sure to read the instructions that come with your space heater and ensure it remains a safe distance away from other home goods.
Is It Safer to Use a Whole-House Heater or Furnace?
Some of the dangers of home heater safety are eliminated when you stick to heating systems for the entire home, but there are still safety issues to consider.
- Radiators and heating systems that rely on hot water pipes can be scorching and cause burns. Make sure your family and holiday guests are aware of the hot spots in your heating system. Be sure to keep clothing, decorations, and presents far away from the hot spots.
- Clogged filters and faulty ignition systems in furnaces can lead to carbon monoxide buildup. Be sure to change your filters regularly, install a carbon monoxide detector, and have your furnace cleaned and serviced annually to avoid home heater safety issues.
- Make sure your heating oil tank is full for the holiday season. People often turn to supplemental heat sources when they forget to fill their heating oil tank. Avoid the potential hazards with careful planning.
Fill Up Your Tank Now with Tragar Express
The best way to keep your family safe from home heater mishaps over the holidays is to have the system checked by a professional. Tragar provides full service oil heat and gas heat maintenance, repairs, and upgrades. Then, make sure your holiday plans are secure for a warm and safe holiday season by filling up your oil tank. Contact Tragar Express for an oil delivery today by calling (516) 221-2559. Orders placed before 10 AM are eligible for same day delivery.