Following are some electric heater safety tips that, if adhered to, will ensure that your home remains safe. Many household fires are started because of improper use of electric heaters or because the electric heaters that are used are unsafe.
First of all, be sure to read the instruction manual you received when you bought your heater as it will no doubt include tips on how to safely use it. You should also have anyone else in your home who operates the heaters read the instructions.
It is always a good idea to unplug any heaters when you are not using them. It is also generally recommended not to leave the heater on if no one is in the room. The only exception to this would be if your heater has a timer that allows it to turn on automatically when programmed to do so.
Heaters should not be plugged into an extension cord. They should only be plugged into a wall socket. For this reason, it is always a good idea to make sure the heater you are buying has a long enough cord. Also, make sure that the cord attached to the heater is always in plain view and not hidden behind furniture or under mats. If it is out of sight you will not be able to tell if it becomes frayed or if it begins to melt.
It is best to make sure is that there is around 3 feet of clear space around every heater. Frequently, objects that press up against the heater will either melt or catch on fire. This is how many home fires start. Even if your heater is not hot to the touch, for example if you have an oil filled radiator, you should not hang towels or wet clothing over it. The only exception to this is if you install an electric towel radiator in your bathroom that allows towels to be hung over it.
Generally, electric heaters should not be used around water. If you want to install a heater in your bathroom, buy one that is specifically designed for this purpose. Also, be careful of using heaters in laundry rooms and kitchens as there is often water lying on the floor in these areas.
If the cord is damaged or frayed you should not use the heater until the cord is replaced. Also, keep an eye on the actual plug and make sure it is in good condition and that it has not melted.
Do not leave a heater on in a bedroom with a child who is sleeping. Be sure to teach your children the dangers of heaters and help them learn not to touch them or pull on the cords.
Unless a heater is a tabletop heater, it should always sit on a flat surface such as a floor.
Following these simple safety rules will ensure that you and your household stay safe. Do not underestimate the danger a heater can be if it is improperly used or if it is damaged in any way. If you have any doubts about the safety of your heater, do not use it until it has been repaired.