What should I know about my space heater before I use it?

Winter is fast approaching, and like many Missouri residents, you may be taking your space heater out of storage or preparing to purchase a new one. Whether you plan to take the chill off these early fall days or use your space heater throughout the winter, you should understand the safety hazards associated with these small appliances.

According to the DIY Network, space heaters cause about one-third of home fires and four-fifths of all fatalities related to heating equipment. In many cases, these mishaps are not due to faulty equipment, but to misuse. It is vital to know how to properly and safely use your space heater. Take note of the following safety tips to avoid fires, burns or electrocution:

  • Never use an extension cord with your heater, which can overheat and cause a fire.
  • Keep your heater at least three feet away from curtains, blankets, furniture and other items that can combust.
  • Never leave a space heater in a room with unsupervised children or pets.
  • Do not run the electrical cord under a rug.
  • Turn the space heater off and unplug it when you are finished using it or leave the room.

It is also wise to check online for recalls or reports of injuries involving the model of space heater you purchased, as well as to inspect it for damage and signs of wear and tear before you use it. If a defective appliance resulted in an injury or fire, you may choose to seek legal action. This information, however, should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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