Heaters Alert! Safety Measures for your Room and Water Heaters

Recent news of gas leaks shows we are not safe in our own house with running heaters & geysers. Follow these instructions to avoid accidents.

Heaters have become inevitable to lessen the bite of chilly winter days. So much so that the Gas geysers for hot water have emerged as a cost-effective and efficient system to use in homes and the room heaters are no less. In the winter of 2019-20, the sales of room heaters more than doubled due to the sharp decline in the mercury levels. Geysers also saw a sales growth of 40%. In the first week of January, retailers of Delhi and NCR region reported a total stock out of oil filled radiator room heaters and heat convectors, with everything (room and water heaters) getting sold off in one week. As crucial as the heaters are, however, it comes with deadly perils. While electric shocks and burns can be tackled with a little consciousness, the other most dangerous hazard, which has recently been killing many people is CO (Carbon Monoxide) poisoning. 

According to recent news, on January 22, 2020, 8 tourists including 2 couples and 4 children died of asphyxiation due to an alleged gas leak from a heater in their room at a mountain resort in Nepal.

Accidents of such sort have happened in the past multiple times where innocent lives were taken by the deadly build-up of Carbon Monoxide fumes (an invisible, odourless, poisonous gas). It is astonishing to know how much harm a simple-looking room heater can do.

Safety Measures Regarding Room Heaters

  • Almost all heating devices tend to become so hot that it can burn you or any surrounding article if you come in contact. To prevent such accidents, keep all items that can catch fire like inflammable materials, papers, bedding, blankets, and furniture at least 2-3 feet away from the electric heater.
  • Before using your electric heater inspect it thoroughly for a single broken cord or accumulated dirt can result in electrical fires and shocks. Do not ignore the bad conditions of the heater and either get that problem professionally repaired or buy a newer and safer one.
  • Place the electric heater thoughtfully to avoid anyone coming in contact even by mistake. Simply find a place out of high-traffic areas. Also keeping it on a flammable surface—carpets, wood/plastic furniture is a Big No! No!
  • Keep pets and children far away from the heater.
  • The room heater is not for drying clothes or cooking food. Do not try to experiment.
  • Make sure that the heater is not plugged into the same power socket with other electrical appliances to avoid overloading.
  • Do not run the heater in humid spaces and avoid any liquid beside it. No matter how tempting it is to place the heater in the bathroom, the moisture within can create pretty significant hazards. Even if your hands are dry, a wet heater may result in an electrical accident.
  • You can avoid carbon monoxide poisoning by turning off the heater and unplugging it before leaving the room or going to bed or when the purpose is solved. Never leave it unattended and take notice of any health issues such as headache, dizziness, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, and weakness because these are the symptoms of CO exposure.

courtesy: metropha.com

Safety Measures Regarding Water Heaters/Geysers

  • Geysers are advised to not come in contact with water from external sources.
  • Ventilation should be maintained when using the geyser.
  • Consider installing an automatic gas shutoff valve to stop the flow of gas if gas flow increases dramatically due to any natural or artificial disasters.
  • Insulate the first six feet of the hot water pipe and the first three feet of the cold water one extending from the hot water tank to reduce heat loss and sweating accordingly. Avoid using any kind of insulation within the six inches of the draft hood or flue exhaust vent.

It is always regarded as a better option to ensure safety measures before any malicious event happens. Get a technician to check your gas water heater, room heater and gas furnace annually as part of a maintenance plan. Annual maintenance is important to avoid inefficiency, sudden breakdown, and CO leaks. For the safety of your family, install a CO detector. That would alarm you in case of the dangerous carbon monoxide build-up sooner—far before it threatened their lives.

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