As the weather cools down and your heating bill starts to rise, you might think about purchasing a space heater or bringing your old one out of storage. Before you plug in your little heater, our team at McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham, LLP, wants to make sure you understand space heater safety, as well as the risks you and other Georgia residents could face with a faulty or improperly operated appliance.

According to the DIY Network, about a third of all home fires and four out of every five heating-related fire deaths in the country are caused by space heaters. Instead of throwing out your space heater, consider the following safety tips:

  • Never plug a space heater into an extension cord or run the cord underneath a carpet, which can cause it to overheat.
  • Place your space heater at least three feet away from curtains and furnishings that might catch fire.
  • Turn the heater off when you leave the room.
  • Never leave a child or pet unattended with a running space heater.
  • Do not let your space heater run overnight while everyone is asleep.

Taking the proper precautions when operating a space heater or other potentially dangerous appliance can prevent devastating injuries. Before you purchase a space heater or plug in one that you’ve used in previous seasons, check online for reports of fires, injuries and recalls involving your brand and model. You may be eligible for compensation if a product defect caused an unexpected fire, as our page on products liability explains.