Safety Tips for Electric Fireplaces

electric fireplaces

One of the many joys of winter is snuggling up under a cozy throw, watching holiday favorites, with a fireplace providing warmth. However, if you do not have a wood- or gas-burning fireplace in your home, you can create a cozy feel regardless of the season with an electric fireplace.

These appliances provide all the realism of a traditional fireplace without impacting your indoor air quality. There is no soot to clean or risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Similar to a space heater, they can quickly heat a room and may save you money, since they do so much more efficiently than your HVAC unit.

Think of them as a heating blanket but for the whole room. Another advantage is their space-saving design. An electric fireplace is ideal for homes where square footage is at a premium; apartments included.

Where to Buy Electric Fireplaces?

You’ll find a vast selection of models with various features available at most any local home improvement store and online. There are wall mount, media consoles, and wall inserts. Wall inserts can even be installed in the space of a non-functioning fireplace. Prices for these appliances vary, depending on desired design and features.

Home Heating Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association, about 23,000 home fires are attributed to space heating equipment. Contributing factors include inadequate safety features, insufficient clearance to combustibles, and faulty plugs or connections. Misuse of the heater is another potential fire hazard. Keep your home warm and safe during Texas’s fall and winter seasons with the following tips.

Certification: Make sure UL certifies the unit. UL Certification is the best way to ensure everything from extension cords to TVs are safe to use. It will be listed on the product, along with its packaging and owner’s manual, for easy reference.

Never Use Outdoors: These units are not intended for outdoor use nor in areas of high humidity such as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms. Also, avoid placing water on or nearby electric fireplaces to prevent electric shock.

Plug the Heater into a GFCI Outlet: A ground-fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a protective device specifically designed to shut off power quickly enough to prevent an electrical incident. Because a GFCI protects against overheating, plugging a heater into one just makes sense. A certified electrician can install additional GFCI’s in your home.

Keep Objects and Fingers a Safe Distance Away: The heater is HOT when in use, so to prevent burns, it’s essential that you avoid touching it. Additionally, you’ll want to keep all combustible materials (e.g., furniture, throws, papers, etc.) three feet away from it in all directions.

Other safety tips include unplugging the heater when not in use, whether you’re going to be away or catching some ZZZ’s, as well as keeping children and pets away from the fireplace. Remember that electric fireplaces can get very hot.

Contact a Professional Electrician Today

Before adding a new electric fireplace or another appliance, you should consider hiring a certified electrician, such as A&H Electric, to come out to your home and perform a comprehensive electrical safety inspection. We can also add GFCIs for your new equipment.

A&H Electric specializes in the installation, repair, and service of electrical wiring systems in both commercial and residential properties throughout Conroe and the surrounding communities of Texas. Contact us today at (936) 756-0442 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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