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Consumer Reports do safety tests on space heaters

It’s the time of year where sales for space heaters are on the up to help keep people warm during the chilly winter months.

Because these self-contained portable devices cause around 1,700 house fires per year as well as approximately 70 deaths, Consumer Reports decided to test which ones may be the safest to use in the home.

After testing 19 portable electric heaters, they decided what the obvious risks were. They checked for suitable safeguards, which are a must, and they assessed whether the overheat sensor turns the heater off before it poses as a fire risk.

Consumer Reports used test fabric to see if the heat sensors were activated in time.

Following their tests they found that the Optimus H-5210 space heater’s sensor did not activate in time and the fabric caught fire within minutes of being placed on the unit.

The non-profit organisation did find that this mode came with a ‘Risk of fire’ warning on purchase.

However they confirmed that there was a potential safety problem when purchasing this model as it was the only one out of the 19 that they had tested that caught fire.

No matter which heater you use, CR urges everyone to keep fabrics and combustibles away from heaters at all times.

November 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm | electric heaters |
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The return of winter calls for safety reminders for portable heater users

It’s that time of year when temperatures are preparing to severely drop, making us all want to reach for our blankets and turn up the dials on our household heating.

Following the return of those cold dark nights and brisk winds, many households and businesses are likely to bring out their portable electric heaters to help keep them cosy. This is always a good time to throw out a reminder to make sure you heat your homes and offices safely this winter.

Portable heaters cause approximately 700 fires in the UK each year and fires in the US caused by these appliances in the home kill around 70 people a year.

When you’re planning to use an electric heater indoors it’s always a good idea to check the device first, especially if it’s old. It’s also essential to carefully consider where to put the heater, as placing it near furniture, paper or bedding is more likely to cause a fire.

Anything that can easily burn should be kept 3 metres away from the heater. This way you can have peace of mind that you are both warm and safe inside – much more fun than being cold and miserable outside!

October 22, 2012 at 12:38 pm | electric heaters |
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Residents of Doncaster are urged to check their portable heaters

Doncaster council are offering free safety checks to ensure that residents are using their portable heaters safely this winter.

The Trading Standards team in committed to warning the public about fire hazards that can be caused by heaters, in order to tackle accident rates this year.

Portable heaters are said to cause around 700 fires per year and that the most common cause is due to heaters being used when the cables are worn or have defective plugs.

The team are organising a free event where residents will be encouraged to bring their portable heaters so that they can be tested for safety.

They have issued advice warning people to check them before use, especially if they have been stored away in the summer.

A few basic tips the Trading Standards team have issued regarding electric portable heaters include:

–              Check for excess dust

–              Check the plug to ensure it is intact

–              Position it 3 feet away from furniture on curtains

–              Use fireguards to protect children and pets

–              Never dry washing on them

October 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | electric heaters |
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