When the winter weather draws in, portable heaters are a saving grace. They offer an efficient method of heating a small area and many tend to opt for them as a less expensive alternative to switching the main central heating on (especially if you’re only getting cosy in one room). Gas heaters are particularly useful and decidedly more efficient than their electric counterparts, and they tend to work twice a fast. What’s more, the cost of gas is less than that of electricity, so it’s a clear win-win!
Whether you opt for an LPG heater, there are plenty of safety considerations to think about. Follow these ten simple safety procedures and prepare for some lovely warm winter evenings without anything to worry about.
1. Remember to turn it off when you’re not using it
It may sound obvious, but it’s the number one rule for a reason. Whether you’re leaving the house, heading to bed, or even just leaving the room to cook dinner, be sure to always turn your portable heater off so that it doesn’t spark a fire without you noticing.
2. Don’t sit too close to the heater
Sitting too close to your portable heater can be dangerous and unhealthy. For one, being in the direct flow of hot air will dry out your skin, but you’ll also be more likely to drift to sleep, leaving the heater unobserved and causing a potential fire hazard.
3. Never place clothes or items on your heater
Placing clothes or any other objects on your portable heater is a serious fire hazard — at the very least you could end up badly burning one of your favourite items! It might be tempting to use your heater to dry your washing, but you should always opt for a tumble dryer instead so as not to risk creating a hazard.
4. Make sure your heater is well-maintained
A well-maintained heater is a safe and efficient heater. If you’re unsure on any element of your portable heater, or you think it might be damaged, contact the retailer to have it checked.
It’s also important to remember that adequate ventilation is required for un-flued appliances, but for peace of mind, portable gas heaters tend to have a built-in device that will shut it down if insufficient air flow is provided.
5. Don’t use any flammable products near your heater
In addition to not letting your heater get to close to clothes or other materials, it is imperative that you don’t use any aerosols or flammable cleaning liquids in close proximity to it — this could cause it to set alight.
6. Do not move your heater while it’s in use
Yes, your heater is portable, but that doesn’t mean that you should attempt to move it while it’s in use. Transferring your heater could cause a serious fire hazard as well as a general health and safety issue if dropped!
7. Make sure your heater isn’t blocking any escape routes
If something does happen to go wrong with your portable heater, it is important that you are able to vacate the vicinity as soon as possible. The last thing you want to do is block off your exit routes, so consider your escape routes when you decide where to place your heater.
8. Always put your heater on a level surface
Your portable heater may feel robust and sturdy, but it’s still important that you place in on an even surface, as it could cause great damage is it topples over or if someone accidentally knocks it.
9. Don’t power your heater from an extension lead
If you do opt for an electric heater, be mindful of the damage that can be caused by plugging it into an extension cable. As heaters use a lot of energy, your extension cable could be caused to overheat. To avoid any serious electric issues, always plug your heater into the wall directly.
10. Ensure that your heater is always at least a metre away from combustible materials
Finally, be sure to remove any combustible materials from the vicinity of your heater — if it overheats and causes something to spark, you could be in trouble!
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Now that we’ve got the health and safety elements taken care of, it’s time to feel safe and snug this winter thanks to your portable heater. Say goodbye to frosty nights and hello to the cosy feeling akin to warming up next to a crackling fire.