Using an Electric Fireplace? Learn How to Do So Safely.

An electric fireplace is safer than standard fireplaces for one major reason: no fire. The precautions imposed to safely start, manage, and extinguish a conventional wood-burning fireplace are necessarily more extensive. However, that doesn’t mean using an electric fireplace is totally without hazards. These units generate warmth from hot electric heating elements and also draw substantial electrical current during use.

Proper operation and maintenance of an electric fireplace is detailed in manufacturer’s instructions to meet government safety regulations. Read instructions before utilizing the unit. Here’s a collection of safety recommendations from various manufacturers:

  • Never touch the heating element when an electric fireplace is in operation. Also, be aware that the enclosure of the unit may get uncomfortably warm as well.
  • Keep all combustible materials at least 3 feet away from the unit while it’s in use. This includes furniture, bedding, curtains, clothes, and other household materials that could be flammable.
  • Make sure the unit’s fresh-air intake and hot-air discharge vents are open and unobstructed at all times.
  • Unplug the unit when not in use. Never operate it if there’s damage to the plug or power cord.
  • Do not operate an electric fireplace outdoors.
  • Don’t route the unit’s power cord under carpeting, throw rugs, or other flammable materials.
  • Never use an extension cord or power strip. Plug the electric fireplace directly into wall outlets on a household circuit that is properly grounded, polarized, and that includes fuses or circuit breakers.
  • Since an electric fireplace doesn’t burn wood, you should never smell any burning odors. If you notice the smell of something overheating or burning, turn off the fireplace immediately and disconnect it. Contact the manufacturer for service advice.
  • If the unit blows a fuse or trips a circuit breaker, discontinue use immediately and consult a professional electrician before utilizing the fireplace again.
  • Turn the unit off and unplug it before you go to bed or leave the house.

For more about the safe use of an electric fireplace, contact Paitson Bros. We’ve been here for your all-season safety and indoor comfort since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

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