Space Heater Safety Tips for Your Apartment
Winter is here and you’ve probably braved your apartment building’s storage area to pull out your heaviest sweaters, space heater and thick winter comforter.
But while you are focused on staying warm, don’t lose your focus on being safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 40 percent of home fires between 2009 to 2013 were caused by improper use of a space heater.
Space Heater Safety
There are several tips to remember for using a space heater, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) describes in a short video summary. Before turning on your space heater, consider these tips from FEMA and the NFPA:
- Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything flammable, including drapes, furniture, walls, newspapers and blankets.
- Make sure to also keep children at least three feet away from the space heater to help avoid burns.
- Do not use extension cords with space heaters.
- Keep your electric space heater out of the bathroom and anyplace else (like the kitchen sink or laundry room) where it can get hit with water, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
- Don’t leave a space heater on when you are not in the room.
Consumer Reports’ buying guide for space heaters suggests looking for models with safety features, including a switch or sensor that automatically turns off the unit if it overheats or tips over.
With the right preparation, you can safely stay warm for the rest of the winter.
Originally published on February 20, 2014.