People often rely on electric space heaters to stay warm during the winter months. If used incorrectly, space heaters can pose serious risks.
Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat—they are not intended to replace your home’s heating system. They do provide heat quickly and run on electricity but they do come at a cost, you will notice a hike in your electric bills if you use one regularly to heat an area. If you are going to use one we recommend a thermostatically controlled unit or putting it on a separate timer and do not use one while you are out of the room.
- Buy a space heater that has been certified and carries the Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) label.
- If an extension cord is necessary, use the shortest possible heavy duty cord of 14-gauge or larger.
- Never use a space heater with a damaged or frayed cord, and never cover the cord with carpeting or furniture.
- Buy a unit with a tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts off if the heater is tipped over.
- Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room.
We want you to be safe this winter. Remember that taking preventive action is the best defense against potential home heating hazards. Learn more about electrical safety at home and in the workplace at the Electrical Safety Foundation International website; www.esfi.org.