This is the time of year to add some warmth to our lives.
Space heaters certainly help those cold pockets, but they are a common source of home fires, so it pays to make sure your setup is safe.
In Durham earlier this year, a fire that started when things were left near a radiator killed three people.
Radiators are involved in a third of all home heating fires.
At Consumer Reports, Paul Hope says, âWe are performing a series of safety tests to identify heaters that may pose a risk of burns. The safest radiators turn off automatically if they get too hot or are knocked over. “
Some get hot enough to burn the fabric, earning them a low rating from Consumer Reports.
If you need one-time heating, Consumer Reports says the Vornado VMH 600, for $ 160, is excellent and has passed safety tests.
For an entire room, the CZ499R comfort zone delivers. Although it received an excellent rating for fire safety, it is warmer to the touch than other models. It’s a best buy from Consumer Reports at $ 50.
If you have kids or pets and are concerned about hot surfaces, Consumer Reports likes the Lasko AW315Bladeless Tower for $ 100.
Keep in mind, never use extension cords with a portable heater and keep it on the floor, at least three feet away from anything that may burn.