Space heaters are a common household appliance and is used as a way to supplement heating in a room. However, if used improperly, a space heater can also be a serious potential hazard.
Labels and Warnings
Any space heating product that you purchase should have a label certifying its safety as per a Nationally-Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). You can find the list of OSHA-certified NRTLs here. If a space heater has been tested for safety, there will be safety instructions and hazard labels included. It is vital to follow and be aware of these.
The accompanying instructions should explain what uses that specific space heater is intended for. Before purchasing a space heater, always consider what you plan to use it for, and make sure that the instructions for intended use align with that.
Placement is perhaps the most important aspect of space heater safety. Space heaters should be at least 3 feet away from anything potentially flammable. In addition, it is imperative to avoid placing space heaters directly on top of any potential flammable surface, such as carpeting. This surface should also be large, flat, and extremely stable to prevent the heater from being knocked over.
Simple checks and upkeep go a long way. Always check to ensure that your space heater is still in great shape. Take signs of wear such as frayed cords very seriously. And never forget to turn off a space heater that is not actively being used.