With temperatures in the low teens and wind gusts of more than 20 miles per hour, Baltimore’s first snow storm of 2014 was a freezing experience. With winter settling in, staying warm is a priority at home and the office. Space heaters do their part to chase away the chill, but always keep these safety tips in mind.
1. Give the heater an inspection before you plug it in, and check for worn insulation or frayed wires. If the cord doesn’t look safe, it’s time for a new unit. You’ll want a heater with the UL Mark that indicates the model passes safety standards.
2. Never leave the heater on at work or home if you’re not there, and it’s best to only use it when you’re in the room. The unit isn’t designed to be a mobile appliance, so don’t try to make it reach another area with an extension cord.
3. Assume that everything in the room is flammable, and keep the heater at least 3 feet away from furniture, curtains and walls. The only safe place for this appliance is on a flat, level surface, so let it do its job on the floor.
4. Kids and pets at play aren’t always careful, so make sure your space heater has a guard around the heating element. Keep a close eye on little ones, and never let them adjust the unit or move it from one room to another.
This year’s Baltimore winter forecast is typically cold, so it’s time to snuggle up and get toasty. Enjoy the warmth of that space heater, but always use it with care.