During the cold winter months, space heaters are necessary to keep your home warm and comfortable. But space heaters can be hazardous. According to data from the National Fire Protection Association, up to 48,530 fire incidents that occurred between 2014 and 2018 were caused by home heating equipment, including portable space heaters. Also, most home fires occur at night, which is why people often ask questions like “Can you leave a space heater on all night” and other space heater safety questions.
Most modern units have features that make it safe to leave them unsupervised for long periods, including at night. However, you have to be careful if you intend to do this. There are some important safety precautions you should follow. Also, be sure that your space heater has essential safety features like automatic shut off, tip-over protection, timer, and so on. It should also be certified by an independent testing organization. Having all of these and following some basic safety rules will make it safe to leave your unit on all night if you absolutely need to.
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How to use a space heater safely?
There are essential safety precautions to keep in mind to avoid hazardous situations and fire incidents while using your space heaters. Here are a few tips to follow when using a space heater in your home.
Keep your space heater away from flammable materials.
This is a no-brainer! Space heaters get hot during use, so having them around flammable materials such as curtains, beds, furniture items, and clothes can be dangerous. Your heater should get at least 3 feet clearance on all sides from all of these materials.
Use the right electricity outlets.
Mismatch of your heater with a wrong electricity outlet is one of the leading causes of fire hazards and electrical issues. Most heaters have an optimal power of 1500watts. Use the right outlet and avoid overloading your home electricity.
Keep your heater on a low flat surface.
Ensure that your heater is on a stable surface at all times. This helps to avoid tipping over or getting the heater knocked down.
Unplug space heaters when not in use.
Don’t leave your space heater plugged in if you’re leaving your room for an extended period. You should unplug it each time.
Safety features to consider when buying a new heater.
In addition to following these safety tips, purchasing a space heater with vital safety features is the most effective way to protect your home from fire hazards. When you’re looking to buy a space heater, your choice should have the following essential safety features.
Auto shut off.
A space heater with an auto shut off feature will automatically shut down by itself under certain conditions.
Sometimes, your space heater can get knocked down accidentally. If it continues to work in this condition, it can start a fire. The tip-over protection feature detects when the unit is not in an upright position and shuts it down immediately.
Overheat protection keeps your unit from overheating by shutting down when it exceeds a specific temperature. This protects both the device and your home from fire hazards.
No matter the type or model of space heater you intend to buy, ensure that you check for a safety certification from independent testing bodies such as the Underwriters Laboratories label.
Dangers of leaving your space heater running all through the night
Even with the best of safety features, leaving your space heater on all through the night comes with some obvious danger. Space heaters can cause fires if something gets too close and ignites. Gas-powered heaters can also release carbon monoxide, which is dangerous when inhaled for an extended period. There’s also the risk of raising your room temperature to extreme levels, and some space heaters can also cause an imbalance in humidity levels.
So can you leave a space heater on all night? Although most modern space heaters claim to be safe to use for extended periods without supervision. Doing so might be dangerous for several reasons. Unless it is absolutely necessary, keeping your space heater on at night is not recommended. But if you must, ensure your unit has vital safety features and observe all the safety precautions recommended here.