Space heaters and electric fireplaces are excellent for keeping small spaces warmer. Finding an efficient source for keeping your rooms more comfortable is crucial, and instead of traditional heating elements like a furnace or a fireplace, you could choose to go with an electric fireplace or space heater.
The design is either a stalled or portable heating element you can plug right into your wall. An electric fireplace is a faux fireplace that distributes natural heat, while space heaters typically emit heat from their components.
Fireplaces and space heaters are a less expensive alternative to a regular wood-burning stove. These heating elements can heat more specific areas of your home if your heating system can’t reach every nook and cranny well enough.
In short, fireplaces and space heaters are a great alternative, or complement, for a warm and cozy home. However, like most things, there are some safety precautions to take!
Keep Objects at a Distance
A space heater or an electric fireplace can get pretty hot! When these heating elements run, objects near them could pose a severe fire hazard. Things like blankets, pillows, and stacks of paper have a chance to absorb this heat and combust when close by, resulting in a house fire. Be sure to keep the surface and the surrounding area free of debris.
Don’t Touch the Surface
As mentioned above, an electric fireplace or space heater can hold a high temperature. You should avoid touching the surface of your unit as it may cause serious burns when in contact with your skin.
Do Not Leave Pets or Children Unattended With It
It is not uncommon for accidents to occur, especially when children or pets are around. So, another tip is not to leave the fireplace unattended if there are either of them in the room. This can reduce the risk of them touching the surface, tripping and knocking it over, or removing the chances of them playing with the cord.
Do Not Use the Unit Outside
These heaters are only usable indoors because they need an insulated room to be able to work efficiently and correctly. Their main objective is to keep smaller rooms warm, and due to the constant airflow, they will not be an effective solution when used in exterior spaces.
Never Make Changes to It
There may be times when the space heater has components that break and will need to be replaced, but making any other types of modifications from it should be avoided. This is because the model is specifically designed to output a certain amount of electricity safely, and if you don't have the knowledge and training, you can potentially create a fire hazard by changing the components.
Don't Use an Extension Cord to Power It
If you are in an area where the heater is not reaching a space you need it to be, it can be tempting to use an extension cord to help make this happen. However, these heaters require a large amount of power and could cause overheating or overload the circuits resulting in a possible fire.
You also want to avoid plugging anything else into the same outlet where it is running from to make sure it doesn't put too much strain on the power source.
Only Use a Tested and Certified Heater
It is also recommended to ensure that the heater has been certified by the Underwriters Laboratories or Intertek. Both of these companies offer a certification that the product package has been tested rigorously to make sure that it is safe for use.
Avoid Old or Damaged Heaters
You want the entire unit to be in the best condition possible to avoid any mishaps, so before you plug it in and use it, you want to check the plug and the cord to see if there is any damage. If you find there are any cracks or frays, or it doesn't fit into the outlet snuggly, it can be a potential fire risk.
Make Sure Outlets and Cords are Safe
An electric fireplace or space heater kicks out a lot of energy for an extended period. It’s always a good idea to check outlets to assure they are safe for a heater to the plugin. Additionally, check the cord on the heater for damage before plugging it in.
Unplug Heater While Away
If your household leaves for a while during the holidays to visit family, you should unplug your electric fireplace or space heater. Even when not on, these units can still use up energy and pose a serious fire hazard.
Choose Harrison Electric for Your Twin Cities Home
Whether you’re setting up a space heater, or need electrical services such as electric vehicle charging, troubleshooting, or emergency service, contact Harrison Electric.
Receive a quote online or give us a call at 763-544-3300 today!