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With winter on the way, home heaters can provide extra heat more cost effectively than central units. They can help warm up a bedroom, den or extra sleeping space for family or holiday guests to make life more comfortable. And in the case of winter storms and ice taking down power lines, having access to a generator or rental heaters can be a life saver.

Think Safety First

When you still have power, electric fireplaces, ceramic heaters and the like can keep your house comfortably warm. During power outages, kerosene or propane heaters can fill the void. However, all of these pose risks. Space heaters typically are the cause of 40 percent of fires in home heating accidents and 84 percent of deaths.

Consider the following list of guidelines related to alternative heat sources:

  • Children and pets should be kept away from all portable rental heaters.
  • Fire and fuel heaters (butane, propane, natural gas, kerosene) give off toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide. Don’t use combustible heat sources without adequate ventilation to the outdoors.
  • If you plan on using fuel heaters, install a carbon monoxide detector and alarm system. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for where and how to place it.
  • Space heaters can ignite combustibles such as paper or fabrics. Keep everything flammable three feet away at a minimum.
  • When using portable electric units as a source of supplemental heat, plug them directly into wall sockets. Don’t use long extension cords that could overheat.
  • Look for heater models with tip switches; this feature shuts off the heater if it falls over to minimize fire hazards.
  • When using fuel heaters, never refill them if they’re in operation or still hot. Refill them only outdoors and only according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home near access points such as stairs, in sleeping areas or wherever space heaters might be used. Test the units to ensure the batteries are still good before the winter cold sets in.

Choosing a temporary heater

Be sure to select a space heater  that provides the best assurances of safety. This may include:

  • Non-accessible heating element (protected by a screen or vent).
  • Certified UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory) compliant.
  • Heaters equipped with thermostats so you can raise or lower heat output as needed.
  • Tip switches or automatic shut-offs to prevent over-heating.
  •  If you’re using a generator to power space heaters, make sure the area is well-ventilated and that the cord is heavy-duty and in good condition.

Homeowners and do-it-yourselfers will find everything they need to complete their next project at One Stop Rental. When rental heaters are on your list of necessities to get through the winter comfortably, be sure to check with our experts to help you make the right choice for your home projects. For more information, give us a call.