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    Electric Heaters and Winter Safety

    SCHEDULE SERVICE

  • Electric Heaters and Winter Safety

    October 21, 2015

    There’s always that one room in the home which just won’t
    heat properly.  The typical answer is, of
    course, an electric space heater.  Space
    heaters are inexpensive, portable, and provide instant heat where you want it.  

    An electric heater is usually a more
    efficient way to supply heat when you only need to warm a single room, making
    them extremely effective for apartments, and can help cut general heating costs
    when used properly.  Improper use of a
    space heater is extremely dangerous, however.
    The high energy load can lead to electrical fires, and poor placement
    can cause flammable items to ignite.

    Space Heater
    Precautions

    Some elements of space heater safety are obvious.  Don’t use heaters that are damaged or have
    frayed wiring and never operate a space heater near open water.  But there are other, smaller, issues with
    space heaters that people overlook or forget.

    For one, never leave a space heater unattended.  If you aren’t in the room, anything could
    happen.  The heater can be knocked over,
    cables can begin to overheat, or a nearby item could catch fire from the
    heat.  The same rule applies to
    sleeping.  Do not leave a space heater
    operating while you sleep.  If you aren’t
    able to watch for issues, the heater shouldn’t be in operation.  Instead, try setting your alarm for a few
    minutes before you need to get up.  Start
    the heater and wait for the room to warm up before getting up yourself.  That way, the heater doesn’t need to operate
    all night for you to enjoy a warm environment.
    You’ll stay safe and your electric bill will be less as well.

    Placement Safety

    Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from the
    front of your heater.  Bedding, clothes,
    linens of any kinds, and boxes should all be three feet or further from the
    face of your heater.  Placing objects too
    close reduces how effective your heater is at warming a room, but it also puts
    them at risk of igniting and starting a fire.
    As an added precaution, it’s never a bad idea to have a smoke alarm in
    any room you’re heating.

    You should always make sure that you place your heater on a
    flat, stable surface.  Uneven surfaces or
    shaky tables are a bad idea.  If the
    heater falls over the surface it lands on (usually carpet) will heat up.  The internal equipment of your heater will
    also have to work harder.  The best case
    scenario is that your breaker or an internal fuse will turn the heater
    off.  The worst case scenario is that the
    excess heat will start a fire.

    Electrical Safety

    Electric heaters come with their
    own electrical risks, just like any other appliance.  Frayed or damage wiring is always a concern,
    so replace your heater if you notice stripped or missing insulation.  Never cover the space heater’s cord with
    anything, especially flammable items such as rugs, carpets, or boxes.  The cord may be a little unsightly, but a
    burning rug is worse.  Never plug a space
    heater into an extension cord or power strip.
    Residential extension cords are not rated for such a high load, and few
    utility extension cords can handle that power rating either.  You should also monitor the cables,
    faceplate, and socket to make sure they aren’t overheating during operation of
    the space heater.  If you hear a loud
    buzzing noise from your breaker, or you continually trip the circuit, you’re
    overloading the system and should remove some of the devices from that circuit.

    For added safety around space
    heaters, refer to the Association of
    Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) safety guide
    .


    If you’re worried about the safety of your home wiring, then
    you should call Mainstream
    Electric
    .  We’ll be glad to conduct a
    home safety inspection for your peace of mind.
    And remember, when it comes to space heaters:

    • Do not leave them unattended
    • Keep combustibles stay away
    • Ensure a tight fit on plugs
    • Perform regular temperature checks of non-heated surfaces
      and cords
    • NEVER use power strips or extension cords
    • Place on Stable surfaces
    • Don’t run cords under rugs/carpets
    • Keep them away from water
    • Use smoke alarms

    Choose
    Smart! Call the Company with Heart! 866-411-ZAPP (9277)

    For more
    information on home and business electrical inspections, visit Mainstream Electric online

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