Safety Tips for Space Heaters

When it comes to being safe during the cold winters of New York City (NYC), consider these facts from the National Fire Protection Association with regard to space heaters:

  • In a study from 2009-2013, an estimated 56,000 reported U.S. home structure fires involved heating equipment, with associated losses of 470 civilian deaths, 1,490 civilian injuries, and $1.0 billion in direct property damage.
  • Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for two of every five (40%) of home heating fires and four out of five (84%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (30%) was failure to clean, principally creosote from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.
  • Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattress, or bedding, was the leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (56%) of home heating fire deaths.
  • Nearly half (49%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February. These fires accounted for 16% of all reported home fires.

Being warm and safe, during a NYC winter, doesn’t have to be an either-or situation. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy much-needed heat while remaining safe:

  1. Space heaters should be Underwriters Listed (UL) or Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL)approved.
  2. Only use space heaters that are ground fault protected.
  3. Space heater should have a tip-over switch.
  4. Space heater should be 36 inches away from any type of material or objects.
  5. Only purchase a space heater with a timer to avoid space heater running while unattended.
  6. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord.
  7. Always purchase the proper sized space heater for a room to avoid overheating. 
  8. Never use a space heater with missing parts.
  9. Make sure space heater is always on a flat surface.
  10. Keep space heaters away from exits and other paths of travel.
  11. Space heaters should not be used in wet areas.
  12. Never place clothing on top of space heater.
  13. Keep children away from space heaters.
  14.   Keep pets away from space heaters.
  15.       Make sure to have a properly working carbon monoxide and smoking detector in the same room with the space heater.
  16.       To prevent freeze ups, doors and windows should be closed during space heater use.

By following the tips above, space heaters can be a safe and efficient way to provide heat and comfort to some of the uncomfortable situations that happen during the winters of NYC.

Visit us for more information on space heaters or any of your other HVAC needs!


15 Craziest Home Improvement Fixes – Don’t DIY AC Repair in NYC!

Home repair is a dicey proposition; knowing when to do-it-yourself and when to call for help can prevent costly and dangerous mistakes. AC repair in NYC is something best left to the professionals. DIY is a noble undertaking, but as these do-it-yourselfers prove, it’s not always the best way to go.

Duct Work by Glad.

A home’s ventilation system is the lifeblood of the home; it provides comfort from the chill of winter and the heat of summer while promoting healthy air inside the home. This stupid home improvement proves that a shortcut is no substitute for the real thing, but at least his garbage bags are nice and cool.

Who Needs a Ladder?

When things in your home require maintenance, like replacing lightbulbs for example, the proper tools for the job can keep you from out of harm’s way. Don’t be like this guy, the only thing he’s fixing to do is making his way to the emergency room.

Doorway to Nowhere?

Household structural elements, such as doorways, should always be planned in advance and should accommodate changes in construction. This homeowner obviously needs to recheck his blueprint, or invest in a parachute.

HVAC + Fan = Bad Idea

An AC unit is not a toy; it’s a complicated piece of engineering that must be properly maintained and serviced. Looking to save a few bucks on a service call is only asking for trouble and further expense in the future. The above AC unit also doubles as a fire hazard.

Tile Patching Gone Wrong

When it comes to home improvement, there is no such thing as a minor detail. Even something as commonplace as a floor tile can spell disaster if not handled with care. The cardboard and duct tape look was so last season!

Does Your Hot Water Taste like Graphite?

There are times when substitutions are acceptable, and there are times when only the right parts will do. Knowing the difference between the exception and the rule will save you headaches down the road. This homeowner should use that pencil to write himself a reminder.

Leaking Pipe? No Problem!

Your home is an ecosystem after all even something as minor a little leak behind your wall can grow into a huge problem. Although stop-gap measures can quickly steer you out of harm’s way, they are no substitute for finishing the job correctly. Remind me not to borrow this guy’s turkey baster next Thanksgiving.

Wall Mounted is for Wussies

Even something like furniture needs to be handled with care. Rigging together odds and ends is a risky move and may produce unpredictable results. Case in point: this kitchen hutch will crush you if you try and put any dishes in it.

Fit to Be Tied

Things like carpentry and woodworking are skills that are best left to those with experience. Taking a risk on something that you are unsure about can lead to some serious problems if left unchecked. Something tells me that old T-Shirts are not rated for deck railing construction.

Portico Problems

Outside home improvements are just as important as inside ones if not more so. Many of these improvements may affect the safety and structural integrity of the home itself. This house’s portico looks like it’s had one too many “repairs” (and we used the term very loosely).

Measure Once, Cut Once?

 “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is the golden rule in home improvement. Making sure everything works in conjunction is important especially when things like windows are involved. On the bright side this homeowner won’t have to pull out the big ladder to change those security lights.

Garage Crutch

Mechanical systems around the home demand the same attention to detail as the structural details. Taking shortcuts instead of correctly fixing problems are just accidents waiting to happen. At least this homeowner already owns the crutch he’ll undoubtedly need once that garage door slams down on his foot.

Cuckoo Repairs

Accent pieces though mostly used for decoration are also in need of occasional maintenance. Patch jobs, and quick fixes might seem to work but in reality, you’re only creating a bigger eyesore that is more trouble than it’s worth. The above picture proves who the biggest cuckoo in this homeowner’s house is.

Indoor Waterfall.

Home improvements can also be performed to repair damage both manmade and from natural disasters. Sometimes it is necessary to make a repair that is a little unorthodox to prevent further damage. This homeowner may have saved his attic but he’s well on his way to having a cat waterslide in his kitchen.

Laundry Fresh?

Making a home more efficient is one of the hallmarks of home improvement. Ingenuity and planning can create systems that can save energy and money. It looks like this homeowner is looking to cut down on his water bill, buy crushing the next person who uses the toilet with a washing machine.

When it comes to HVAC Maintenance in NYC Don’t be like these “handy” folks, bring in a professional who has the right tools and the training to get it fixed right and keep your AC running smoothly for years to come.