As temperatures drop outside, many of us rely on portable space heaters to help keep our families toasty and warm. But experts warn that if you use them to heat your home there are certain tips and tricks you should know, especially if you want to avoid making what can end up being a dangerous mistake with space heaters. While they provide warmth, if used incorrectly they can also be dangerous.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters cause 43 percent of home heating fires each year, which are the second leading cause of fire-related deaths. In addition to the risk of fire, the Iowa State University Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering warns that space heaters that use kerosene, propane, and natural gas pose an additional risk of releasing carbon dioxide (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrogen dioxide into the air if they aren't properly vented, which can lead to serious health problems and even death. According to Consumer Reports, electric space heaters might be a safer choice for indoor use, as they don't emit carbon monoxide or other pollutants, but they can still pose a risk of fire if you operate them near flammable materials (like curtains, bedding, or furniture), overload an electrical circuit, or leave them unattended.
For more about how to safely use space heaters to keep your home warm this winter, and dangerous mistakes to avoid, read on: