U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-17-2022, 06:25 AM
 
15,728 posts, read 14,089,828 times
Reputation: 22511

Advertisements

In cold weather people are more likely to get an electric space heater. This usually leads to reports of home fires caused by these space heaters.

1. Do NOT use an extension cord to plug in a space heater.
2. Do not place close to any fabrics, papers, nor anything else that can burn.
3. Do not leave on unattended, especially if you have young children and or pets.
4. Have working smoke alarms and test to ensure they are still functioning. Replace them after 5 to 10 years.
5. Buy the best quality heater you can afford that is recommended for the size room you’re trying to heat. Cheaper off brand heaters may not have the safety quality of other brands.
6. Mineral oil filled convection heaters are among the safest types of space heaters but they take the longest time to heat the room. Unless the room is very drafty, they work well and efficiently once the room has reached the temperature you set.
7. Infrared type space heaters heat the objects in the room instead of trying to heat the air by fan forced circulation so they tend to make the person feel warm faster.
8. Avoid natural gas or propane space heaters unless during a winter storm power outage and even then heed all safety warnings on ventilation as well as having a battery backup carbon monoxide detector to give you an early warning.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-17-2022, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
54,473 posts, read 76,199,492 times
Reputation: 120791
I would like to add few more things in regards to space heaters:
- Don't run cords under the rug
- Don't leave pets, small kids, elderly or disabled in the room unattended
- Don't use an extension cord or a power strip
- Don't place a space heater on furniture, carpet or area rug unless the manual specifically says it's ok to do so
- Don't expose the heater to moisture and don't run it overnight (while asleep) or when you leave the house
- Be careful with old or secondhand items. Have them inspected for safety. Also check for safety certificates (UL) or Intertek (ETL) - usually printed on or attached.
and
- Don't block the doorway or escape route in case of fire.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2022, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Sunnybrook Farm
2,023 posts, read 857,181 times
Reputation: 6023
And yet, we used the old Dearborn gas space heaters, no safety valve, for decades with no incident.

Remarkable how using common sense and trying to anticipate "how could things go wrong" can work.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2022, 10:13 AM
 
15,728 posts, read 14,089,828 times
Reputation: 22511
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
And yet, we used the old Dearborn gas space heaters, no safety valve, for decades with no incident.

Remarkable how using common sense and trying to anticipate "how could things go wrong" can work.
One issue is most modern homes are built to be well insulated and thus less natural air exchange. My grandparents’ home had natural gas space heaters on the floor and in the bathroom wall. Using reasonable precautions made them less prone to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2022, 04:47 PM
 
Location: on the wind
19,433 posts, read 13,048,158 times
Reputation: 63414
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit33 View Post
And yet, we used the old Dearborn gas space heaters, no safety valve, for decades with no incident.

Remarkable how using common sense and trying to anticipate "how could things go wrong" can work.
Another miracle is reading the heater's owner's manual. Most of the points raised in this PSA would be found there. But I'm making a rather grand assumption that consumers read the instructions before flipping the switch. My bad.

Oh, before I forget, another assumption:

The owner's manual is actually written halfway well. Too many are not.

While this doesn't pertain to a portable space heater, instruction manuals are in the forefront of my mind right now. I had a new gas fired direct vent stove installed a month ago. It is now the house's primary heat source. It does not depend on electricity which was the primary reason I replaced the original one that did. We have frequent power failures here, almost inevitably in the depths of winter when the ambient temperature never gets above freezing.

The new stove seems to work well in itself. BTU rating seems adequate for the space, operation is just about silent, a power failure won't phase it, you can get psychological warmth gazing at the firebox flame, and you can toast your tushie in front of the glass window quite nicely. One big caveat: getting past the horribly written owner's manual has been a nightmare. The stove operates off a portable handset that offers several different operation modes. A manual mode (the homeowner must turn the burner up or down by hand to heat the house), a temperature mode (the stove turns itself off or on to maintain a previously set minimum temperature) and a timer mode (with multiple temperature setbacks possible based on time of day).

The owner's manual description of how to program or switch from mode to mode must have been written by a cubicle-dwelling nuclear physicist who never passed a basic English communications class. This is not a translation from some other language. The manufacturer is right on the same continent. Parts of the manual do not reflect how the stove even works in real life. Other essential information about controlling the stove is missing entirely. If you happen to touch the wrong handset button at the wrong time the stove shuts itself off and proceeds to ignore any saved programming you might have set from that point on. Result: walking into an unexpectedly cold house. Duct tape time for the handset? If your find or suspect the stove isn't running is that due to a faulty handset? Faulty stove? Faulty manual? Could be any one or all of them.

I may have it sort of figured out after multiple calls to multiple dealers, multiple service calls by the installer (who also got some of it wrong), and even a conference call with the manufacturer over the past three weeks, but my expectations are now pretty minimal. I am overjoyed that the house now seems to stay reliably warm over a 24 hour period. As long as I resist the urge to touch the danged handset. Be thankful for small favors. However, the thought of resetting the thing's clock at daylight savings time twice a year or explaining the stove to someone else such as a house sitter strikes terror into my heart.

Last edited by Parnassia; 11-17-2022 at 05:37 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-17-2022, 08:03 PM
 
22,284 posts, read 65,603,270 times
Reputation: 44781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Another miracle is reading the heater's owner's manual. Most of the points raised in this PSA would be found there. But I'm making a rather grand assumption that consumers read the instructions before flipping the switch. My bad.

Oh, before I forget, another assumption:

The owner's manual is actually written halfway well. Too many are not.

While this doesn't pertain to a portable space heater, instruction manuals are in the forefront of my mind right now. I had a new gas fired direct vent stove installed a month ago. It is now the house's primary heat source. It does not depend on electricity which was the primary reason I replaced the original one that did. We have frequent power failures here, almost inevitably in the depths of winter when the ambient temperature never gets above freezing.

The new stove seems to work well in itself. BTU rating seems adequate for the space, operation is just about silent, a power failure won't phase it, you can get psychological warmth gazing at the firebox flame, and you can toast your tushie in front of the glass window quite nicely. One big caveat: getting past the horribly written owner's manual has been a nightmare. The stove operates off a portable handset that offers several different operation modes. A manual mode (the homeowner must turn the burner up or down by hand to heat the house), a temperature mode (the stove turns itself off or on to maintain a previously set minimum temperature) and a timer mode (with multiple temperature setbacks possible based on time of day).

The owner's manual description of how to program or switch from mode to mode must have been written by a cubicle-dwelling nuclear physicist who never passed a basic English communications class. This is not a translation from some other language. The manufacturer is right on the same continent. Parts of the manual do not reflect how the stove even works in real life. Other essential information about controlling the stove is missing entirely. If you happen to touch the wrong handset button at the wrong time the stove shuts itself off and proceeds to ignore any saved programming you might have set from that point on. Result: walking into an unexpectedly cold house. Duct tape time for the handset? If your find or suspect the stove isn't running is that due to a faulty handset? Faulty stove? Faulty manual? Could be any one or all of them.

I may have it sort of figured out after multiple calls to multiple dealers, multiple service calls by the installer (who also got some of it wrong), and even a conference call with the manufacturer over the past three weeks, but my expectations are now pretty minimal. I am overjoyed that the house now seems to stay reliably warm over a 24 hour period. As long as I resist the urge to touch the danged handset. Be thankful for small favors. However, the thought of resetting the thing's clock at daylight savings time twice a year or explaining the stove to someone else such as a house sitter strikes terror into my heart.
LOL! Manuals in general have become insane over the past few years. The first page is often a picture or drawing of the appliance. What follows (often for pages) are boilerplate safety warnings dreamed up by bored corporate lawyers, who have never even been within a hundred yards of the appliance, but have somehow learned how to use cut-n-paste and have an assistant who, in between looking at porno online and shopping on Amazon, has amassed a motherlode of inanities.

I recently bought a toaster. It has just such a list of twenty generic "don't sue us, we warned you" BS.
Examples: (All copied exactly as written)
Do not touch hot surfaces. (Ya think?)
Close supervision in necessary when any appliance is used by or near children. (ANY appliance? Try telling that to a teen with electronic games.)
Never leave an appliance unattended during operation. (Crock pot users are now rising up in anger)
A fire may occur if the appliance is covered or touches flammable material. (by a show of hands, how many cover the top of their toaster with flammable material when toasting bread?)
Danger of suffocation! Always keep plastic bags away from children. (That pretty much rules out taking a kid shopping these days.)

The warnings continue on into the "Using the appliance" section.
Do not connect appliance to a wall outlet unless it is fully assembled. (The toaster COMES fully assembled with security screws to prevent disassembly.)

Then we get into the real instructions - ready for it?
Insert the plug into a wall outlet. (The lawyer was falling down on the job there. Who knows if a customer might have shipped the item to Europe, thinks that the toaster is powered by USB-C, or has a central vacuum?)
Once you have finished using the appliance, remove the plug from the wall outlet. (This warning should be banned by Underwriters Labs. Repeated plugging and unplugging items from 120 volt sockets is NOT how they were designed to be used, and in time will damage the holding power of the spring action in the metal, creating a danger of overheating. The safest way to insure the device won't come on in the middle of the night to toast hungry mice after crumbs is to go outside to the garage, find the mains panel, and flip off the circuit breaker to the entire kitchen circuit. )


Those are ALL part of what passes for a manual these days. Is it any wonder that no one RsTFM any more?

If it is bad now, imagine what appliances will be like in the future...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRq_SAuQDec
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2022, 01:15 AM
 
Location: WMHT
4,451 posts, read 5,011,031 times
Reputation: 6407
Thumbs up Gas-fired standing pilot "gravity" models can be run without outside power, so will keep working through power outages

All resistive electric heaters are equally efficient at turning dollars into heat, however some are safer than others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Avoid natural gas or propane space heaters unless during a winter storm power outage and even then heed all safety warnings on ventilation...
OTOH, the "direct vent" (aka "sealed combustion") gas wall-mounted heaters, which outside air for combustion, are among the safest possible heaters, as the flames and flue products never mingle with inside air. Some models require no external source of power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
...as well as having a battery backup carbon monoxide detector to give you an early warning.
My wall furnace runs on propane, with the hard line running directly through the outside wall and into the heater. So I picked up a combo detector which alerts on both CO and also combustible gas.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2022, 01:38 AM
 
Location: PNW
3,132 posts, read 1,101,817 times
Reputation: 5138
I bought this tiny space heater last year. I use it in my den in the winter. It's very powerful; but, does not get hot. It's extremely lightweight and plastic. I think it is a ceramic heater. It heats up my garage until I am sweating in a little over an hour. I used to use those oil filled De Longhi heaters but, I would replace them because they made me paranoid. I finally just decided not to use them any longer.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2022, 03:18 AM
 
Location: Tricity, PL
54,473 posts, read 76,199,492 times
Reputation: 120791
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
LOL! Manuals in general have become insane over the past few years. The first page is often a picture or drawing of the appliance. What follows (often for pages) are boilerplate safety warnings dreamed up by bored corporate lawyers, who have never even been within a hundred yards of the appliance, but have somehow learned how to use cut-n-paste and have an assistant who, in between looking at porno online and shopping on Amazon, has amassed a motherlode of inanities.
Blame the US law system, not human common sense (although this one got lost long time ago)
If is not written down and handled to the customer, then it doesn't exist and any half-wit lawyer can contest it.
Change the laws and most of that nonsense will disappear.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-18-2022, 04:32 AM
 
15,728 posts, read 14,089,828 times
Reputation: 22511
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonesuch View Post
All resistive electric heaters are equally efficient at turning dollars into heat, however some are safer than others.



OTOH, the "direct vent" (aka "sealed combustion") gas wall-mounted heaters, which outside air for combustion, are among the safest possible heaters, as the flames and flue products never mingle with inside air. Some models require no external source of power.


My wall furnace runs on propane, with the hard line running directly through the outside wall and into the heater. So I picked up a combo detector which alerts on both CO and also combustible gas.
We considered this for our fireplace. Currently the chimney is not safe for wood burning but there is a natural gas line for log starting. The cost of converting is just too high compared to the type of winters we have in south Louisiana to warrant the expense. It’s rare for us here to have extended power outages in winter. At the time old homes were built with natural gas space heaters, natural gas prices were low enough to make it cheaper to run than electric central heat. At work we had a natural gas engine chiller (large refrigerant compressor) and our bosses would have us run it in more frequently than the electric chillers, even in the cold months when the smaller variable speed electric chiller could handle the load alone. Roughly 20 years ago the prices changed enough for us to use electric and later rose enough to warrant completely replacing the chiller entirely with an electric model.

One relative’s home still has the in the wall natural gas bathroom heater from the 1960s. Because of gas prices she uses a counter top ceramic heater with a GFI outlet.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2023, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top