It’s true that Public Adjusters make a living helping people deal with natural, and man-made, calamities to their property.  Still, Claims Pro USA prefers to help Floridians deal with the type of property damage that they have no control over.  We find it heartbreaking to hear stories about total loss of property and possessions from events that could have been avoided.

Since Florida has been experiencing one of the coldest winters in years we thought it would be a good time to share some basic space heater safety tips.  There have already been numerous house fires associated with people just trying to stay warm using space heaters.  So, the team here at Claims Pro USA thought we would share some basic space heater safety tips to keep you and your family safe when the temperatures drop.

They Need Space

When it comes to space heaters, distance from combustible materials is the most important rule of which to adhere.  In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) the “leading factor contributing to ignition for home heating fire deaths (53%) was heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding (, 2017).  The gold standard is to keep your space heater 3 feet from anything that can possibly catch fire.  We know that means a significant area of space for those living in smaller, or older, homes.  One way to battle a lack of open space is to choose to camp out in the largest room in the home, one that gives you enough clear space for safety.  Since most cold snaps only last a few days, it’s worth the temporary inconvenience to keep you and your family safe.  In fact, your kids might even find it fun if you treat it like a “home camping” night.

Another good practice is to find a nonflammable, sturdy surface to place the space heater upon.  Tile and other hard floors are perfect choices.  Also, don’t place space heaters on a countertop or other raised surface unless they are specifically made for that purpose.

Some Additional Tips

Space heaters are the type of small appliances that are often bought and forgotten about until we need them.  Since they are only needed a few times (if that) a year here in Florida, we may not treat them with much care when handling or storing for future use.  For this reason, it is important to check the plug and cord for any frays, tears or damage of any kind.  You also want to make sure you unplug the space after each use, even if you plan to use it later in the day.  While unplugging, always pull directly from the plug itself.  Do not tug on the cord as this can cause immediate damage.  One of the most important, and overlooked, best practices is to avoid extension cords if possible.  We know that most cords are not long enough to give you an abundance of placement choices, but safety really is something that can’t always be convenient.

Last on our basic overview of space heater safety tips is to make sure you have working fire detectors throughout your living space.  There are a lot of things that can wrong, even in households that follow all the rules.  So, make sure you have new batteries (replaced twice a year) in your smoke detectors and test them at least once a month.

More Info

This was far from an exhaustive list of space heater safety. For a more in-depth overview of space heater safety follow this link to a post on DIY Network’s website.  The article gives more detail on what to look for when buying a space heater as well as the different types available.

Public Adjusters come across many small, and regrettably, large insurance claims for property damage that could have been avoided by following basic safety.  Though all of us at Claims Pro USA are happy to help with any home fire mishaps that result in property loss, we would rather be there for you for those calamities that are unavoidable.

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