As winter approaches and the nights get longer, darker, and colder, you might start thinking about bringing out the electric heater to keep you warm. Although electric heaters are a fantastic way to heat up a room very quickly, they can also be dangerous if not used correctly.
Follow this guide to find out how to use electric heaters safely, and pick up some top tips that can help to minimize danger to you and your surroundings.
What are the Different Types of Electric Heaters?
There are a few types of electric heaters on the market for you to buy. Although they all have the same job of heating the area, they do sport a few differences:
- Electric fan heaters: consisting of a heating element that broadcasts thermal energy as the fan blows air across it, these provide a steady heating effect in a room.
- Electric infrared heaters: rather than heating the air in the room, these are designed to heat the objects or people who are directly in front of them via infrared light bulbs.
- Ceramic heaters: these have a ceramic heating element to warm the air. The surface of this type of heater generally stays cool to the touch, making them a popular choice for homes with kids and pets.
How can I Keep My Electric Heater Safe?
Be Careful Where You Place It
You need to make sure that you place the heater on a level, flat surface so that it doesn’t topple, and somewhere it won’t be knocked or kicked over. Never place your electric heater on an uneven surface or where there is flammable material as this increases the risk of fire.
Never Plug the Heater into an Extension Cable
Always make sure to plug your electric heater straight into the wall socket, and not into an extension cable or reel.
This is because plugging it into an extension lead can not only cause it to overheat, but the cables that lie on the floor, as a result, can cause trips for people walking in the area.
Keep Pets and Children Away from It
Most electric heaters pose a fire risk if they are pushed over, which for children and pets is an easy job. Also, the electric heater becomes hot to the touch which can cause painful burns that require immediate medical attention.
Always keep kids and pets as far away as possible from heaters to prevent any accidents. You may wish to look for newer electric heater models that come with safety switches that switch the heater off down if it tips over.
Don’t Use Your Heater as a Storage Space
Whether you are at home or in the office, it can be tempting to rest items such as paper, files, and pens on the heater. The truth is, even if it is switched off at the time, this could still be a fire risk. These items may have dust on them, which could fall into the heater, catch a spark and start a fire within minutes of the heater being switched on.
Also, never put your soaking hat and gloves on your electric heater to dry them off. They can cause your heater to overheat, increasing the likelihood of anything in the nearby area catching fire.
Keep the Heater Maintained
Always check your heater before you plug it in. If you see any signs of damage such as the cable being frayed or scorch marks on the casing, do not use it.
Also, if you turn it on and you can smell burning or see smoke, unplug it straight away.
Registering your electric heater when you buy it means that if it needs recalling, the manufacturer can get in touch with you to arrange a refund or replacement.