Use your room heaters right, ensure electrical safety
Switching on the heater indoors is an instinctive response to this season, especially in light of forecasts for a prolonged winter.
However, while doing its job of providing heat to keep you warm, a heater may also pose an electrical hazard. Msheireb Doha suggests a few ways you can be cautious before you get cosy:
- Avoid using extension cords with heaters as doing so causes overloading. An extension can hold a maximum of 13 amperes and connecting too many devices to one extension causes the fuse to blow, which in turn shuts power to all connected devices. There is also a chance of a fire in case poor quality devices heat up and melt. Instead plug heaters into sockets directly.
- Place all heaters at a distance of at least three feet from any combustible objects in the room. These could include curtains, furniture or even beds.
- Do not leave heaters unattended; it is too dangerous to leave them running when no one is around.
- Keep the heater’s cord above all rugs or carpeting. Running them under these may gradually wear down the cord and could prove to be a fire hazard.
- Ensure that heaters are kept away from children at all times. Also, never place one in a child’s room without adult supervision.
- Never place heaters in damp or wet areas as parts of a heater may be damaged by moisture.
Apart from the aforementioned steps, you can also ensure that you are doing everything to prevent general electrical faults at home by taking the following precautions:
- Ensure that your power distribution board is fitted with a safety protection device called residual current device and get the board labeled so that turning off one switch to test faulty circuits does not disrupt the settings of other devices.
- Do not plug in multiple appliances in one adaptor as it may melt due to an excessive load.
- Never force-fit a two-pin plug into a three-pin socket.
- Always hire a competent electrician with suitable experience for the job.
- Use good quality electrical devices or appliances, even if that means spending a few more riyals. Good quality ensures safety, never compromise on it.
- Fit a smoke detector in all rooms in your house to keep electrical faults in check.
Photo Courtesy: ashkyd on Flickr