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Use Care with Space Heaters

Space heaters can provide supplemental heat, but they also can present a safety and fire hazard. 

When purchasing a space heater, always choose a model with a guard in front of the heating device. This is an important safety feature as it keeps people from touching the hot surface. Always check that the space heater has been tested at an accredited laboratory to ensure it meets proper safety standards. Also consider the size of the space you want to heat when selecting a space heater. If the wrong size is purchased, it can waste energy.

Carefully read the manufacturer’s safety and operating information. Make sure everyone who will be using the space heater has read the directions as well. And, make sure the safety instructions are kept in a handy place where they can be referred to later.

It is important to remember to always turn off the space heater when not in use. When deciding where to place the space heater, make sure it is at least three feet from any flammable objects or chemicals. Also make sure nothing nearby can fall into the space heater and catch on fire. Place the space heater on a level, hard surface, never on carpet. This will keep it from tipping over and from starting a fire. In case the space heater should tip over, it is important to choose a model with a switch that will shut off the heater until it is turned upright again.

Pay attention when plugging in the heater as well. Make sure you are not plugging it in near places that may accumulate moisture. If a space heater gets wet it can become a shock hazard. Avoid using extension cords if possible with space heaters. Check that the plug fits into the outlet securely, a loose plug may overheat. If the plug feels warm, disconnect it immediately.


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