Space Heater Safety: How to Prevent Short Circuiting Your Power Outlet
With oil and gas prices on the rise, it is common to make use of a space heater, but space heater safety has to be taken into consideration. A space heater is essentially a portable water radiator that has to be plugged into an outlet to work. The electrical current heats coils inside the space heater, which heats the liquid and then the outer shell. The heat that comes off of the outer shell is what heats the space. Space heater safety is very important because they can short circuit and potentially start fires and burn you. The following article about space heater safety specifically addresses the issue of short circuiting a power outlet.
Do Not Overload the Outlet
Electrical fires and brown outs are often caused by power outlets that have been loaded down with too many plugs. Power outlets are rated for a certain amperage, and that can easily be stretched to its limits. When this happens, the outlet simply cannot handle the surge from the appliance, and the outlet can short circuit, which can create a fire. A power outlet has enough space for two appliances. There are attachments that allow you to connect more than one plug to the outlet. This is alright to do if the items are not all being run at the same time.
Keep the Outlet Clean
Dust and hair are things you cannot completely cut out of your life. Outlets are often neglected during your cleaning routine, which is a big mistake. If dust is allowed to settle and clog the outlet, it can become a serious hazard. There is a constant flow of electricity which can charge these particles and cause them to catch fire. This is a rare occurrence, but it can happen. Use a dry cloth or paper towel to dust off the outlets and periodically remove the outlet cover to clean inside the outlet.
This is an obvious warning for not only space heater safety but electrical safety. Water and moisture conduct electricity. Avoid using outlets close to windows when it's raining or close to doors, and never use a space heater outdoors.
No Daisy Chain
A daisy chain refers to piggy backing component onto another component. You have two spaces in your outlet for two appliances. They make extender outlets so you have many more outlets. A daisy chain would be using several of these extension plugs along with extension cords and have each outlet filled. This is the fasted way to shorting out anything and especially a space heater, which uses a lot of amperage.
This is a key component in space heater safety. The surge protector is an extension cord with multiple outlets. Normally you would not want to use a device like this, but a surge protector has a trigger inside the case. If there is a power surge, the surge protector turns off and grounds the charge.