A Complete Safety Guide for Outdoor Heaters
There is nothing better than spending time outside on your deck or patio, but this pastime often ends with summer. Thankfully, you can extend your outdoor patio time throughout the fall and winter by adding a heater or fireplace to your outdoor oasis.
Even if you dress in layers and cover up with blankets, the cold air may still make you shiver, so an outdoor heater is an excellent addition. Dive into this complete safety guide for outdoor heaters to ensure the best possible experience when spending time on your deck or patio.
Choose a Good Spot for It
Choosing a spot for your outdoor heater is the first and most important thing to do. The space should have at least three feet of clearance on all sides to prevent unwanted fires and overheating. Your heater should be close enough to your seating area to feel the heat, but it shouldn’t touch or heat your patio furniture. Furthermore, you should place the unit on level ground as a slope or hill may cause it to slide or tip over; this is a serious safety hazard.
Keep It Clean
Like any heater or fireplace, keeping your outdoor heater clean is incredibly important. In fact, regular maintenance is the key to ensuring your heater operates properly and safely. Unfortunately, debris, like dust, insects, and leaves may get embedded in the heater, which can cause permanent damage without routine maintenance.
Use a rag to wipe the unit and compressed air to clean the hard-to-reach places. Although you can do much of the regular maintenance yourself, you should also hire a professional inspector to conduct a full-service unit inspection annually.
Don’t Leave the Heater Unattended
While it may be tempting to leave the heater on for several hours, you shouldn’t leave it on unattended. Even though these units are generally safe, you should avoid running them unless you’re sitting outside to monitor them. Whether you’re leaving the house or going inside to wash the dishes, you should power the heater off.
Many heating units may have safety features that allow them to power off on a timer or if something malfunctions, but it’s always safer to power the unit off yourself. Besides, there’s no need to heat the outside air if nobody is there to enjoy it.
Keep Children and Pets Away
Like stoves and ovens, outdoor heaters can cause painful burns if you touch them. If you have children or pets, you already know that they like to touch absolutely everything and make messes all over your home. With that in mind, you must do your best to keep them away from your outdoor heater.
Whether you have to put a child gate around it or set boundaries for your children and pets, you should do everything necessary to prevent them from burning themselves or knocking the unit over. Children and pets can hurt themselves or cause serious damage to your home if you don’t keep them away from the heater.
Keep a Fire Extinguisher Nearby
Although outdoor heaters usually don’t have open flames, they may still pose a fire hazard if the unit malfunctions or the weather is less-than-desirable. Believe it or not, even when you follow all necessary fire safety instructions and the unit’s operation directions, accidents are still possible. While heat is fantastic to have outdoors in cold weather, fire is often the result of heat. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of any mishaps.
You can find fire extinguishers at your local hardware store, and you should have one in your house anyway. You never know when a fire may occur. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your family’s safety.
Use a Cover When Not in Use
Even though these heaters are for outdoor use, many units aren’t weatherproof. This means that you should cover yours when not in use or it starts raining or snowing. When looking for bromic heaters for sale, you should also shop for a cover to fit snuggly over the unit; you don’t want any space for water, dirt, dust, or insects to get to the heater.
Store your outdoor heater away from combustible materials, out of direct sunlight, and in a well-ventilated area for extra safety precautions.
Check for Gas Leaks
Any heater or fireplace fueled by natural gas or propane may be prone to gas leaks. Unfortunately, gas leaks are a serious safety concern because it’s not healthy to breathe in this gas, and it’s highly flammable. If you have a gas leak, and someone lights a citronella candler tiki torch too close to the unit, the entire area may go up in flames.
While that may sound scary, it’s a valid concern, and you shouldn’t take it lightly. You should get a professional inspection once a year, but you should also check for gas leaks yourself. To do so, wipe soapy water all over the unit; if it starts to bubble in a specific area, you may have a gas leak. If you suspect a leak, disconnect the unit from the fuel source and call a professional to take a look.
Never Use an Outdoor Heater in the Rain
As previously mentioned, many outdoor heating units aren’t weatherproof, so they aren’t suitable for use in the rain. You probably won’t want to be outside in the rain anyway, so you shouldn’t need to use your outdoor heater during inclement weather. If it starts raining while you’re outdoors enjoying the heat, power it off immediately and move it carefully out of the rain. You should avoid putting the cover over it while it’s still warm to prevent melting or fire, but you should do everything you can to keep it from getting wet.
By following this complete safety guide for outdoor heaters, you can enjoy time outside comfortably and safely. Whether you spend time outdoors catching up with friends or connecting with nature, you shouldn’t have to suffer the cold temperatures this fall and winter; an outdoor heater is one of the best things to invest in.