Having a space heater in a small apartment can help you keep the areas in which you spend your time warm without wasting excess money and gas or electricity to keep your entire apartment at a high temperature. However, before you plug in your new heating appliance, familiarize yourself with essential safety tips to keep you and your apartment safe from fire and injury.
1 – Never Run the Heater Unattended
It’s tempting to leave the heater running all day when you’re at school or work-or even when you’re going to be gone “just five minutes” on errands-so that you can come home to a nice, warm apartment and skip the waiting time for the heater to warm a room up. However, this is extremely dangerous. You may even be tempted to leave the heater running while away or overnight for the comfort of pets, but this is even more dangerous.
The space heater should only be used under direct supervision. Turn it off if you’re so much as heading to the bathroom. Pets can knock it over, some oil can leak out or an electrical malfunction may cause sparks to fly and a fire can start in less than a minute. Luckily, most heaters take very little time to warm up, so you won’t really need to run it for long to start feeling the heat.
2 – Always Run the Heater on a Hard, Uncluttered Surface
A space heater should never be placed directly on carpets or rugs, as these are more likely to catch fire in the event of an accident and they also overheat the machine much quicker. Place heaters on hard floors or on a fire-proof surface, like a sturdy glass tray meant for candles. Make sure there is nothing near or on the heater that may catch fire.
3 – Never Run the Heater In the Corner or Against the Wall
It’s easy to just stick the space heater wherever there’s room, particularly right in front of you, but it’s much safer to keep the heater in a central location where it has adequate room to breathe. Position the heater away from clutter and furniture on a hard surface and make sure there is plenty of ventilation behind and around the machine. Heat rises, so keep the heater near the floor if possible.
4 – Never Run the Heater Near Water
Even though bathrooms are easily one of the coldest rooms of an apartment, you can never run a heater near water sources, even if you think you’re being careful. Just a little water can cause an electrical fire, so never use the space heater in the bathroom, even if you intend to keep it on the opposite side of the room of the shower. Instead, run your shower on the highest hot water setting before you undress to let a little steam build up. This will quickly and safely warm up a bathroom.
Lower the thermostat and use a space heater to keep yourself warm in the apartment during the cold months, but don’t forget to practice these essential safety tips. Heaters can save you money and keep you warm, but they can also prove major fire hazards if you’re not careful.