The Masters Law Firm reminds you to exercise precaution when choosing a space heater this cold winter. The best space heaters can quickly heat an average size room for as little as $40. Not all of them are risk free. Many of those tested by Consumer Reports got hot enough to cause the equivalent of a bad sunburn within a second of contact.
Consumer Reports and the National Fire Protection Association offer the following safety advice:
· Don't leave an electric heater unattended while it's plugged in. Place the heater on a level, flat surface where children and pets can't reach it and never in a child's room. Use a heater on a tabletop only when specified by the manufacturer. If you place it on furniture, it could fall and be damaged.
· Don't use a space heater in a damp or wet area unless it's designed for outdoor use or in bathrooms. Moisture could damage it.
· Keep combustible materials such as furniture, bedding, and curtains at least three feet from the front of the heater and away from its sides and rear. Don't use a heater near paint, gas cans or matches. Keep the air intake and outlet clear.
· Run the electric cord on top of area rugs or carpeting so that you can step over it and not abrade it underfoot. Plugging another electrical device into the same outlet or extension cord as the heater could cause overheating.
Look for safety features. All of the heaters that were tested include a sensor that shuts them off if they overheat. A switch that does the same if they tip over is a welcome plus for taller models, especially with kids and pets nearby. Instructions for all the models tested by Consumer Reports also warn consumers to keep them away from water. One model has a plug that's ground-fault protected, though kitchens, bathrooms, and other moist areas should already have protected outlets.
Stay safe and secure while you endure cabin fever. The very best to you and your family this New Year from The Masters Law Firm of Charleston West Virginia.