Space Heater Risks

Each year with winter arriving and it gets colder and colder it means for thousands that it is time to break out the space heater to keep you and your family warm. But be careful, as space heaters can potentially cause injuries.

Space heaters, including wood stoves, are marked as the cause of 32% of all home fires. 

While space heaters are dangerous and can be deadly there are ways that may lessen the risk of damage to your home and yourself by being aware of the most common kinds of space heater-related injuries.

Here are a few examples of what could go wrong:
  • Fires. Even if your heater has a covered heating unit, there's a still a risk it could cause a fire. Space heaters take a lot of energy, and if you plug one into an extension cord it can cause the cord to overheat. Because it's not part of the heater itself, people may be less likely to notice this problem, but it can still lead to a fire. When buying a space heater, make sure the cord is long enough so that you can plug it into the wall and decrease your risk of fire. 
  • Burns. The location of the heating coil in your space heater matters, especially if you have children or pets. Even if you aren't worried about a person getting hurt, if the heater gets too hot it can damage your floors and other items nearby, like a blanket. If you can, try to choose a space heater with a stand that doesn't get hot, or put a floor protector under it. It may also be wise to install a gate or guard around the heater to keep little hands -- not to mention paws and clutter -- away. 
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning. Many space heaters today are electric, but some models still use fuel to keep the heat going. If yours is one of them, make sure it has a way to vent fumes outside. These kinds of heaters can poison you and your family if you're not too careful. Just in case, install a carbon monoxide detector and make sure the batteries are working.
Of course, if your space heater is defective these warnings and precautions may not be enough. If you're injured by a defective heater, call our Law Firm, we can help.
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