Fire & Smoke DamageWoman and child wearing colorful pair of woolly socks warming cold feet in front of heating radiator in winter time. Electric or gas heater at home. Part of body, selective focus.

Fall is officially here which means cold weather isn’t far off. While it’s safest to use central heating to warm your home or office, sometimes using space heaters is unavoidable. It’s important to select a certified space heater and use it safely if you do need to turn to a space heater in the upcoming cooler months. Space heaters have the potential to cause serious fire damage due to their high wattage and portability. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “Space heaters account for 43 percent of U.S. Heating fires…” In other words, space heaters are one of the most dangerous tools you can use to heat your home. ServiceMaster Advantage compiled the following space heater guide to help you avoid a fire disaster while using a space heater.

What to Buy

Space heater safety starts before you even buy your space heater. When choosing what space heater to buy make sure it stands up to safety standards

  • Make sure that the heater has been tested by a nationally recognized lab.
  • Choose a space heater that has an automatic shutoff function. This prevents your space heater from overheating or continuing to run after it has fallen over.
  • Select a space heater that is the correct size for you. If you have one that is too large for your room, it could overheat your surroundings.
  • Use a space heater that has a temperature setting. This acts as an extra preventative measure to overheating.

How to Use

Use the following practices while using your space heater.

  • Set space heaters up in a level, open area. Make sure there isn’t anything above or next to the space heater that can easily fall on it and start a fire.
  • It’s best practice to keep anything flammable like carpets, curtains, couches and clothes at least three feet away from your space heater.
  • Keep an eye on your space heater while it’s on. Never fall asleep or leave the room with the space heater on.
  • Make sure you obtain permission to use it at work. It’s important that more than one person knows when a space heater is in use to ensure that whoever is responsible can check to make sure it’s turned off at the end of every day.
  • Avoid using an extension cord or power strip with your space heater. Directly plug it into an outlet with enough power capacity.
  • Don’t use space heaters near moisture or water. Bathrooms and basements are not the best places to set one up.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters. They can easily tip over the space heater or burn themselves.
  • Check your space heater before each use for frayed cords or damage. It’s also a good idea to inspect your space heater while in use to make sure the outlet, cord or plug is not hot.

ServiceMaster Advantage is your local disaster restoration expert in Harris, Mongomery and Galveston Counties. We hope you stay warm and fire damage-free this fall. Contact us if you experience a firesmoke or water damage. Homeowners rely on us every day for our full array of services. Our team will repair your property in a timely manner, keep you informed the whole way through and ensure the job is done right.