Safe Outdoor Heaters

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Safe Outdoor Heaters

There are a wide range of heating options for your home, business, or outdoor space. When choosing the right heater, it is important to keep in mind your environment and ensure you opt for the safest and most effective option for your space. When deciding on the right space or outdoor heater for your home, keep in mind some of these important safety points.

Tips for Choosing a Safe Patio Heater

All well-designed and manufactured outside heaters will include a range of safety features to help ensure you have peace of mind. Common safety features include:

Overheat Protection

Many patio heaters are fitted with overheat protection, which detects when internal components become too hot. When an unsafe temperature is reached, overheat protection ensures the unit is immediately switched off so it can cool down.

Cool-Touch Housing

Cool-touch housing is a good idea if there is a high risk of people, usually younger family members, touching the heater. Cool-touch housing prevents accidental burns occurring when the outside of the heater is touched, as it doesn’t get hot.

Open Window Detection

Some patio heaters detect and respond to open windows by automatically shutting off. This helps save electricity, minimises waste and provides an additional safety net.

Tip-Over Protection

Heaters with an integrated tip-over protection switch will automatically shut off if it is tipped over or falls, ensuring no risk of the heat source damaging the flooring or becoming a fire risk.

Mains Plug-In Only

If possible, you should always connect your heater directly to the mains power supply. This applies to electric outdoor heaters specifically. If an extension cable it used, you should not share the outlet with other appliances or electrical items to minimise risks.

Always Unplug

When your heater is not in use, it should be unplugged. This should be a rule of thumb for all appliances which do not need to be left running, but it is particularly important for those which emit heat.

Many models come with built-in programmable timers which means you can set specific on and off times to ensure they are fully switched off when not in use.

Heaters and Waters Don’t Mix

Most heaters are not designed for damp spaces, so should be kept away from water. Unless you specifically invest in a bathroom or basement heater which is designed for a damp, humid space, do not use your heater in these areas without thoroughly checking your manual. You should also never touch your heater with wet hands as this could lead to an electric shock.

Where can you Safely Place your Outdoor Heater?

Even when you’ve chosen the safest heater, improper use still poses a risk.

Outdoor heaters, much like those for indoors, need to be positioned in a way where the fire risk and other potential hazards are minimised. It is usually recommended that patio heaters are placed at least three feet away from furniture, window treatments, soft furnishings, rugs, and similar combustibles. All of these items present a fire risk if they come into contact with the heater’s electrical element or heated surface.

Heaters should always be placed on hard, level surfaces and kept level to avoid any risk of tipping over.

Every heater comes with a manual and specific instructions for ensuring it is kept in a safe space. It is also important to remember you should never place anything over or on top of a heater and it should not be used to dry clothing or towels by draping them over it.

Maintaining and Cleaning your Outdoor Heater

To ensure your electric garden heater remains in top condition, it needs to be looked after properly. This also improves its safety as you can check for any issues which may pose a hazard. Ensure you occasionally inspect your heater and clean it regularly to ensure it is working safely and properly.

Only clean your heater when it is unplugged and fully cooled down. You can use both a cloth and vacuum to clean, as the combination will remove dust and grime.

Purchasing the right heater for your outside space ensures you can enjoy a longer summer and relax outside in the colder months. Safe operation should also be at the forefront of your mind when choosing the right heater to suit your space. Most modern models come with a range of safety features so you’ll be able to find one which suits your requirements and operates as you need it to.