Remember safety when using portable space heaters at home

While portable space heaters can provide supplemental heat, Ameren warns that these heaters are not designed to be a home’s primary source of heat and kitchen ovens must never be used for heating.

Sometimes people will use an oven for heating when a furnace malfunctions.

This is an extremely dangerous practice that can cause ovens to overheat, resulting in a fire. This practice also can cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Central heating systems should be inspected by a professional every year. Inspections will help assure a furnace is operating safely and economically.

When using space heaters, Ameren recommends following these safety tips:

Electric Heaters

Keep heaters away from water and damp surfaces.

Never use a heater in a bathroom or laundry room. Never touch a heater if you are wet. Do not place a cord under a rug or where someone may trip over it.

If you must use an extension cord, make certain it is marked as a number 14 gauge or larger.

Ventless Natural Gas and Propane Fireplaces

These types of heaters are exceptionally efficient, but they do pose safety concerns.

These heaters can deplete oxygen and increase the carbon monoxide level of a room.

These heaters also create a buildup of humidity, which may promote mold and mildew growth.

Canada, California, Massachusetts and some local jurisdictions have banned these heaters.

If you use this type of heater, make certain it has a working oxygen depletion sensor.

Safety Rules for All Types of Heaters

Never leave an operating heater unattended or in use when sleeping.

Keep heaters away from children or where someone may trip over it.

Only use heaters approved by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).

Follow manufacturer directions and keep heaters in proper working condition.

Always have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

If you believe there is a natural gas leak, you should leave the house.

Illinois customers should call Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000. There is never a charge to report and respond to a suspected natural gas leak call.

If you suspect a natural gas leak, do not turn electric lights on or off or activate any electrical device, including land lines and cell phones.

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        The Gazette-Democrat

        112 Lafayette St.
        Anna, Illinois 62906
        Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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