Of the 53,000 fires caused by home heating equipment each year, space heaters account for most of the deaths and injuries and half the damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Why portable heater without cord this, when modern heaters come with multiple safety systems designed to prevent accidents? It’s not so much an unsafe heater as unsafe use of a heater.
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If you use them according to the design, they’ll work just fine. If you own or are going to buy a portable heating unit, learn to use it safely with these tips. It’s old, but is it still good? Wondering if that used heater you keep in the garage is still safe to operate?
With any appliance, don’t just plug it in immediately. For example if the cord is frayed and stiff, then it needs to be replaced. Check to see if the enclosure of the heater appears to be compromised, such as cracked or dented. Also, if the grill is not in place, kids can stick their hands in the heater. When shopping for a new space heater, the US Department of Energy recommends one that carries the UL label, which indicates that the model’s design has been safety tested. When companies test a product for safety, they try to imagine how a consumer might use it in real life.
For instance, in the ‘abnormal test,’ UL recognize that people sometimes use a heater in ways not recommended, such as drying clothing, which can restrict air flow and overheat the heater. UL actually put layers of terrycloth over portions of a heater to see if the internal sensors shut it down. You can choose between two basic types of space heaters: electric and combustion. The former uses electricity to heat a metal screen or housing. Although they cost more to operate than a combustion heater, they are generally safer to use indoors. Combustion heaters burn fuel, like propane, wood or natural gas.