Space heaters can provide a lot of comfort, especially if you have a place where two people need different warmth levels to be happy. People often use space heaters to supplement their heating systems to save fuel costs.
However, space heater safety tips must absolutely be followed. For example, space heater safety means that it should never be a primary method of heating your home and never be left on while you are sleeping. Let’s review a few other key safety questions.
Can You Leave a Space Heater on All Night?
No. Do not do this. While modern space heaters are safer than some of their counterparts, they should never be left unattended or left on while you are sleeping.
Malfunctions, which can happen to any mechanical or electronic device, are the primary reason for not trusting a space heater when you can’t see it. It’s even more important for space heater safety since many homes do not have properly working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Are Space Heaters Safe to Use Inside?
Maybe. Did you buy the right one?
Some space heaters are specifically designed for patios, construction sites, and well-ventilated areas. Space heaters that use propane, kerosene, and other similar fuels are not safe for use inside your home. These heaters can give off levels of carbon monoxide that can be deadly if you do not allow for proper ventilation.
When you are buying a space heater for inside your home, make sure that the one you buy is specifically designed for indoor use and is electric. Never plug it into a power strip or extension cord; always check it for signs of malfunction when first plugged in, and monitor it throughout the time you use it.
Why is this important? Every year, there seem to be one or more prominent fires, usually involving the death of children, that occur because a space heater wasn’t used correctly, including malfunctions or carbon monoxide release while people were sleeping.
How Many Fires Are Caused by Space Heaters?
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that between 2014 and 2018 (the most recent years they have released data), almost 50,000 fires nationally were caused by home heating equipment. Some of that includes improperly serviced furnaces and clogged chimneys, but 81 percent of home heating fire deaths were related to a space heater.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on average, there are 1,700 house fires, 80 fatalities, and 160 injuries each year directly tied to space heaters. These fires come from misuse, malfunction, and placing heaters too close to flammable materials like carpets and curtains.
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