December 01, 2009 09:00 ET

Keep Safety in Mind This Winter When Using Heat Alternatives

SOUTHBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwire - December 1, 2009) - Portable electric heaters are a terrific way for households to save money on heating bills. Heating just the room you're in is a sensible and cost-effective way to lower your heating costs, but it's important to use portable heaters safely.

When used properly, these devices are just as safe as common household appliances. Your coffee maker, electric griddle/skillet and toaster all use the same amount of electricity and can get just as hot as a portable heater.

Knowing how to use portable heaters safely makes the difference. Manufacturers of Honeywell portable heaters, in cooperation with the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), have developed 11 tips for safe use of portable heaters:

1.   Read the manufacturer's instructions and warning labels before using
     any portable electric heater (good practice for any household
2.   Keep flammable materials away from the heater.
3.   Do not use a heater outside or in a bathroom, unless it is
     specifically designed for these areas. This can be very dangerous
     because parts of the heater can be damaged by moisture. And, in the
     presence of water, fire or electric shock hazard may result.
4.   Periodically check outlets/plugs to ensure they are secure. Plugs can
     become very hot if they do not fit snugly into the outlet. If this
     occurs, the outlet may need to be replaced. Call a qualified repair
     service to replace a suspect outlet.
5.   Be sure to unplug the heater carefully. Pull the plug straight out of
     the outlet; do not pull the plug at an angle or by its cord. Also, be
     sure to inspect the cord periodically.  Heaters with damaged cords can
     be dangerous.
6.   Monitor the number of appliances using the same outlet. Too many on
     one outlet could overload a circuit.
7.   Keep heaters at least three feet away from objects, such as curtains,
     bedding and furniture. Do not block the heater air intake or exhaust.
8.   Place heaters on a level, flat surface.  Do not place heaters on
     furniture, since they could fall causing heater parts to dislodge or
     break, resulting in a fire or shock hazard.
9.   Children should be kept away from heaters, and do not place a heater
     in a child's room without adult supervision.
10.  When deciding where to place a heater, be sure to string cords on top
     of rugs or floors.  Placing cords under furniture or other objects
     could damage the cord's quality and create hazards.
11.  Never use an extension power cord unless absolutely necessary. Using
     an extension cord improperly with high wattage appliances may cause
     overheating of the extension cord.  If it is necessary to use an
     extension cord, it must be rated for "12-gauge" or "14-gauge."

For more information on Honeywell portable heaters, please log onto

Kaz is a global marketer of portable heaters under the Honeywell brand. The Honeywell trademark is used by Kaz, Inc. under license from Honeywell International Inc.

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