Tahoe chief’s corner: Make sure portable heaters have plenty of space | SierraSun.com

Tahoe chief’s corner: Make sure portable heaters have plenty of space

Mike Brown
Chief’s Corner

Mike Brown

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — When the weather turns cold, it can bring a chill into our homes. Portable space heaters have become a popular way to supplement central heating or heat one room.

There are many different types of electric space heaters, a few are: oil or water-filled radiator which heats oil or water and travels through the heater; fan-forced heater which uses a fan that blows warm air over metal coils; ceramic heaters warm the air over a ceramic heating element and infrared heaters use infrared bulbs to create heat.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that nearly half of all space heater fires involve electric space heaters.

If you plan to use portable electric space heaters, consider following these tips and recommendations:

Purchase a heater with the seal of an independent testing laboratory.

Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people.

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Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.

Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.

Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off it tips over.

Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit.

Keep children away from the space heater.

Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.

Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.

For additional fire safety information, visit http://www.nfpa.org.

"Chief's Corner" is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.