Can Space Heaters Explode? Fully Explained!

Can space heaters explode? This is one concerning question that bothers most space heater owners. But we will be covering every detail in this article. Space heaters can keep your toes warm but can put your home in danger. As you settle in, you discover it is bitterly cold inside. You purchase a portable electric heater to keep the space where you spend the most time warm. However, after you buy it, you start to second-guess yourself and wonder if you made the right decision when the thought of whether electric heaters explode enters your head. So, can space heaters explode?

Electric space heaters are only known to explode when placed close to things like furniture or clothing. Even though we know that we shouldn’t put anything ON a heater, it is crucial to keep the heater 3 feet away from everything on all sides of the product.

Can Space Heaters Explode?

Space heaters can explode if heaters are not kept well. The fact that there are items in the immediate vicinity is the leading cause of these heaters exploding. Allow the heater to remain 3 feet away from any objects, including the walls, to prevent these problems from occurring. Numerous people disregard these guidelines, which leads to 25,000 fires annually and about 300 fatalities. We beg you to thoroughly investigate any portable heater and read the instructions before using it to prevent an explosion.

A Leading Cause Of Explosion 

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) claims that heating equipment is one of the leading causes of house fires in the United States. From 2012 to 2016, local fire departments responded to 52,050 heating-related fires annually, or 15% of all reported home fires during that time. There were 490 civilian fatalities, 1,400 civilian injuries, and $1 billion in direct property loss due to these fires.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, portable electric space heaters are at blame for about 1,200 fires each year. The only unvented space heaters that may be used safely inside your home are electric since they don’t produce carbon monoxide, even though they are typically more expensive to run than combustion space heaters.

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Safety Guidelines

According to the commission, precautions for utilizing portable heaters include keeping combustible items like beds, drapes, clothing, or furniture at least three feet away.

The panel recommended that portable heaters be switched off before bed and hooked into a wall outlet rather than an extension cable or power strip that could overload and catch fire.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, another safety precaution is establishing a three-foot “kid-free zone” surrounding a space heater.

According to some experts and advocates for fire safety, businesses and government organizations should do more to inform the public about how to use space heaters safely, including running television and mobile phone advertisements.

Never Leave Your Space Heater Alone In The Room

The most straightforward approach to preventing a fire is to never leave a space heater on in an isolated area so that you can react promptly if something goes wrong. Keep a very close eye on the heater’s operation if you have children or animals that might knock it over or cover it with a piece of fabric. 

The U.S. Fire Administration advises separating kids from space heaters by at least 3 feet. Even if a space heater is unplugged, we don’t leave it in a room or closet where young children can access it because, in addition to the fire risk, a heater is a 15-amp appliance that consumes a lot of current.

A curious toddler may be unaware of the electrical hazard posed by the heater’s plug, cord, and some obvious on/off switches. The majority of children are taught to run away from heat, but very few would prepare for an electric shock.

The instructions for many space heaters also caution against leaving them on while you sleep. The DeLonghi TRD40615T and the Lasko FH500 All-Season Comfort Control Tower Fan & Heater in One are two of our top picks that have built-in timers to help you reduce the possibility of them operating unattended.

For example, you can program them to turn off automatically after an hour so you can fall asleep in a warm air cocoon without worrying about starting a fire unattended. (Oil-filled radiators, like the De’Longhi, are especially beneficial for bedrooms because they retain heat for an extended time and continue to emit heat even after turning off.)

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Keep An Eye On Your Space Heater

Do not leave your space heater unattended, as you would not leave your children unattended. It’s important never to leave a space heater unattended, advises Brett. Errors occur when children and pets are present in the home.

A house fire may start if a dog leaves a combustible toy nearby a space heater that wasn’t there when you left the room five minutes earlier. “You need to turn the space heater off if you’re not in the room, no matter how inconvenient it may be.”

Also, you ought to be awake. The National Fire Protection Association reports that space heaters are responsible for five out of six (or 85%) home heating-related fatalities. 

Put Your Space Heater On The Floor And Leave It There

It may be tempting to position your space heater directly facing you. Avoid doing that unless you’re lying flat on the floor, which is the only time a space heater should be used. Don’t place it on a basement workbench made of dusty wood, a stool, or a shelf. With all those flammable fabrics and feathery fillings, do not place them on your bed either. Keep it off the rug as well, if at all possible.

In general, you ought to constantly set up your space heater on the flattest, smoothest surface that is accessible. Some of our picks, including the Vornado VHEAT Vintage Heater, let you tilt the heating element so you can point it upward; the Vornado VH200 and AVH10 are both angled slightly upward by default, but you can’t tilt them any further yourself. Most space heaters come with tip-over switches that make it difficult to tilt them. Even if you can find a way around that, don’t.

Keep It Away From Water

It should go without saying that orange juice and toothpaste are deadlier than electricity and water. Keep your space heater clear of any damp areas, such as kitchens or bathrooms, unless it has been developed and authorized for it—which most haven’t been. Try a bidet if you want a warm toilet seat.

Avoid Flammable Objects

The “3-foot rule,” as the CPSC refers, is relatively straightforward: Place a space heater at least three feet away from anything flammable. Curtains, papers, furniture, pillows, and bedding are all listed in some manuals as things to avoid. Additional safety measures are advised by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), such as keeping matches and paint far away from the appliance. Place the space heater somewhere you believe it won’t be hit by a pillow or other flammable object if there is a remote chance that they could fall on it, as might happen during an earthquake.

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How To Add Smart Controls

Consider a plug-in smart outlet like the Wemo Mini if your space heater doesn’t have a timer or if you’re just determined to give your voice assistant heating commands. Most manufacturers of space heaters advise against connecting a space heater to an extension cord or surge protector. However, a Wemo Mini should be secure to use with space heaters for up to 15 amps or 1,800 watts of power, according to a representative of the Wemo outlet’s maker, Belkin, who confirmed our understanding of the product specifications in an interview (most of our picks max out at 1,500 watts).

The Belkin representative included a warning: “Some space heaters with inbuilt fans could consume more power and create a high in-rush current, which could harm or wear out the switching contacts.” So you should be good to go. However, keep in mind that you should never turn on a heater remotely unless you are certain that it is safely positioned, and you should never leave a heater running unattended.

Can You Keep An Electric Heater On All Night?

Although the warmth your portable heater provides makes it alluring to leave it on all night, you must NEVER leave your electric radiator on. Any potential fire hazard is more valuable than your life. Use additional blankets for added warmth because even electric blankets shouldn’t be left on all night.

Keep a close eye on it whenever you are awake, and always turn it off first before completely unplugging it when you leave the room or need to go somewhere, like the store or run other errands. Then, you’ll put it away so it won’t obstruct anything.

Conclusion On Can Space Heaters Explode

Can space heaters explode? Yes, they can. Due to improper radiator usage, electric space heaters have been known to explode as a result. Before using any space radiator, it is crucial to read the user manual to prevent potential product failure. This guarantees the security of everyone living in your home, including you.

If the electric space heater is prone to cause the explosion, the unit and parts should be secured and protected. The handling of the space heater and all transfers should be documented in the chain of custody. Until a certified professional and the manufacturer inspect and assess the space heater, the unit should be kept in a secure location.