Warm up safely with a space heater

Heating your home during the winter can get very expensive very quickly, depending on how new your heating system is, how old your windows and doors are and where you live.

Newer heating systems tend to be more energy efficient, as do newer windows and doors (which also let less cold air in). Regardless of how new the heating system and windows, though, if you live in a cold climate, you’re heater will get more of a workout (sometimes starting as early as October).

This winter, to reduce heating bills, you can do several things, including using popular, portable space heaters. If you go this route, though, you should practice a few safe heating tips:

1. Be aware that the winter months are popular times for house fires. In an effort to warm up, people sometimes don’t think about the danger of starting fires. Don’t forget to turn off or unplug space heaters when they’re not in use. And always have working smoke detectors, so that you have a secondary line of defense against accidental fires.

2. Don’t leave children, pets or anyone who could not evacuate from an emergency situation alone with a space heater. Space heaters can cause burns and lead to fires if used improperly, so they should only be used under responsible adult supervision.

3. Make sure that your space heater is approved by a national testing laboratory and that it has the built in safety switch that automatically turns the heater off if it is accidentally knocked over.

4. Keep your space heater away from flammable materials like window coverings, bedding or paper. And never use the space heater for anything except warming space. Don’t attempt to use a space heater as a dryer, a stove or anything else it was not sold to do.

5. If you are not using a standard plug in space heater and your heater requires kerosene or some other liquid fuel, follow all manufacturer issued directions and maintenance instructions. And never, never, never add fuel before your heater has cooled.

Space heaters can definitely be an effective way of reducing heating bills. Just use them safely!