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Cold weather generally prompts people to break out the space heater at home or in the office for added warmth and comfort. This is a great idea because it can help to save money on heating bills when you only need extra heat in one area of the room. However, the last thing anyone needs is a fire erupting, especially during the holiday season.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, space heaters accounted for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires and 85 percent of home heating deaths between 2011 and 2015. It is crucial to follow safety guidelines and take precautions to minimize the risk of space heaters causing damage to your home or an office.
Space heaters need outlets that can handle their high, fluctuating current. It is never a good idea to plug one in to a power strip, surge protector, or multi-outlet box as it should be plugged directly into the wall. Ensuring the wall outlet is only used for the space heater and no other appliance at the same time is always your best bet to keep you, your office, and home safe from an accidental fire.
Once the space heater is safely plugged into the wall, make sure to give it plenty of room (at least three feet) away from drapes, bedding, furniture, the Christmas tree, or flammable items such as cleaning products or volatile liquids. Place the space heater on an uncarpeted, solid, flat surface to keep it from tipping over, and never leave it unattended—especially if pets or children will be in the area.
Technical Resource Solutions in Woodstock, Georgia recommends a designated outlet for your computer and for your space heater because each will need its own outlet that does not run off the same circuit. The heating cycle in a space heater that is not properly plugged in can cause the circuit breaker to trip or blow.
If your computer and space heater share an outlet, this can fry a computer and corrupt data along with the file system and can potentially cause a fire.
When precaution is used, space heaters can be an excellent way to heat up an area of your home or office and save money as well. By following these few safety tips, you and your surroundings will stay safe and warm this winter and holiday season without incident.
If you have any questions, have experienced data loss, or are having computer problems because of your space heater, our IT support team would be happy to help in any way we can!