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Space Heater Fire Prevention

Oct 12, 2007
While a large number of people use space heaters in their home during the winter to avoid having to pay the gas bill during that time, most people are not completely aware of just how much damage these little conveniences can do to their home if they are left unattended or used incorrectly.

Any homeowner with children should be wary of using space heaters, depending on how old the child is. Small children tend to touch things they are unfamiliar with or things that look "cool" and this can be a really big hazard. It is a bad idea to use a space heater in a child's room at night, especially since smaller children tend to have stuffed animals and toys all over the room that could easily get too close and start a fire.

Something else that you should know about space heaters is using extension cords with them is a very bad idea if you do not have access to a heavy duty one. The smaller extension cords that are used for lamps or other electronics simply cannot stand up to the high amount of electrical current needed to power a space heater and they will eventually melt.

You may or may not realize it, either, since sometimes you will be able to smell the melting plastic, but other times you might not. Use an extension cord that is marked as being at least a 14 gauge or higher cord. This should be able to handle most space heaters.

A great number of fires concerning space heaters happen at night when people are sleeping. If you can help it, try to leave space heaters off at night. Cover yourself with more blankets or anything else you have to do in order to stay warm, since a space heater may catch on fire and end up causing you and everyone else in the house to be much, much warmer than you intended.

Space heaters should never be used as dryers for any kind of wet clothing, even though some people have done this by setting something they want to make warm on top of it. Do not do this even for a few seconds and even if you are right there watching it.

It is a bad practice to get into and once you become confident that nothing will happen, you will let your guard down and a fire will eventually happen. It may not happen the first, second, or third time, but fires are unpredictable and you never know when one may start.

Keep at least one smoke detector in your home and have one located on each floor, whether you use space heaters in your home during the winter or not. Fires can break out no matter what kind of heating system you may use.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
Miami Residential Water Damage Restoration Contractors and
Orlando water Damage companies.
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