ClickCease Safety Tips for Electric Fireplaces in Your Home
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Safety Tips for Electric Fireplaces in Your Home

Safety Tips for Electric Fireplaces in Your Home

Electric fireplaces are an excellent source of supplemental heat for your home, and many people love how user-friendly they are. Rather than finding wood to burn and constantly cleaning soot and ash, simply turn it on and enjoy the heat and desirable ambiance. Although they’re very safe for your household, follow these safety tips for electric fireplaces in your home to keep your mind at ease.

Electric Fireplace Installation Requirements

Many people opt for electric fireplaces because of their minimal installation requirements. Since they don’t require a chimney or ventilation system, you can put one almost anywhere. In fact, all you need is a power outlet to start enjoying additional heat in your home.

How They Work

Although the stylistic options are countless, all electric fireplaces consist of two primary components: a heating element and a flame effect panel. The heating element typically comprises a heating unit and fan to pull air in and push it back out after warming it. The flame effect panel uses LED lights to create a realistic-looking flame presentation.

As an added bonus, many models have the ability to operate these two components separately. For instance, you might want to have the flame display on without the heat or vice versa. This way, you can have all the ambiance of a real fire without the heat during the summer months.

Necessary Safety Tips

Electric fireplaces pose a lower risk of injury and damage because they don’t produce real flames. However, you should still be aware of the best safety practices and reminders to protect everyone in your household.

Don’t Use if Signs of Damage Are Present

Electric fireplaces may malfunction or operate inefficiently and unsafely if they’ve experienced any drops during installation. Additionally, if the unit has a cut or faulty cord, it may pose a risk of electrocution or a potential fire. If you notice any signs of damage, you should avoid using the unit until you have it repaired or replaced.

Avoid Touching It

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but you and your family should avoid physical contact with the fireplace when the heating element is on. Although the flame display shouldn’t get hot enough to burn your skin, the area around the heating unit itself and the warm air discharge can get extremely hot. With that in mind, you should do your best to keep pets and children away from the unit.

Reduce Clutter Around Fireplace

Although the risk of an uncontrolled fire is much lower with an electric fireplace, you should still avoid piling clutter around it. For example, you should keep combustible materials like pillows, blankets, furniture, clothing, and other flammable items at a safe distance. Typically, keeping at least 3 feet from all sides of the unit clear is enough to prevent an unwanted fire.

Indoor Use Only

While it might seem like a good idea to use an electric fireplace outdoors for extra heat, they’re meant for indoor use only. Outdoor use may expose the unit to elements like rain and snow, which can cause permanent damage to the fireplace and your home’s electrical system. If you want to purchase a fireplace for outdoor use specifically, consider a wood-burning or propane option.

Never Cover the Cord

You might have the urge to cover or hide the cord, but you should avoid this at all costs. Never try to run the unit’s electrical cord underneath furniture, other appliances, rugs, carpeting, etc., as that poses more than one risk.

Firstly, a cord hidden under the carpet or rug poses a tripping hazard, especially in high-traffic areas. Having a guest trip and fall in your home is the last thing you want. Secondly, you’re less likely to notice wear and tear to the cord when it’s covered. As a result, you might not see any cause for concern before it’s too late.

Reduce Risk of Water Exposure

As you probably know, water and electricity aren’t a good pairing. You already know you shouldn’t use an electric fireplace outdoors, but you should also reduce the risk of exposing the unit to water within your home. For instance, using the fireplace in bathrooms, laundry areas, and kitchens increases the possibility of water exposure. Avoid installing your fireplace anywhere it can potentially make contact with a bathtub or other water sources.

Keep It Clean

Electric fireplaces require much less cleaning and maintenance than other alternatives, but you should still strive to keep yours clean. You don’t have to worry about ashes, but letting too much dust accumulate on the unit is a cause for concern.

Therefore, you should regularly remove dust from the entire fireplace using a vacuum followed by a damp rag. As you clean, pay special attention to the cool air intake and hot air discharge. Be sure nothing obstructs the air’s path because the unit needs a smooth airflow to operate correctly.

Avoid Plugging Into an Extension Cord

You should never use an extension cord, relocatable outlet, or power strip as a plug-in for your fireplace. These units require a direct connection to an appropriate wall outlet because extension cords and the like typically can’t handle a high-wattage appliance. When you use one, you’re increasing the risk of overheating and potential fires.

Turn Off and Unplug When You’re Not Using It

Avoid leaving the fireplace unattended when it’s powered on. When you leave your home—especially for long periods—you should double-check the unit is powered off and unplugged. By doing so, you’ll reduce the chances of electrical mishaps.

Hire a Professional When Necessary

While you’re less likely to need professional help with an electric unit, you shouldn’t hesitate to hire a professional electrical repair person when necessary. Avoid attempting circuit repairs or modifications on your own unless you have prior knowledge and experience. Hiring a professional is a surefire way to keep you and your family safe.

Incorporating these safety tips for electric fireplaces in your home can make a massive difference when it comes to eliminating hazardous risks. Remember, you can never put a price on keeping your family out of harm’s way. Whether you have one already or are looking for Dimplex electric fireplaces for sale, our team at Everything Fireplaces is here to help answer any questions you have about fireplace safety.

Safety Tips for Electric Fireplaces in Your Home
Daniel Peter-Salawu
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