According to the Weather Atlas, Brentwood, CA experiences some of its lowest temperatures in January, with average low temperatures of about 3.9°C. This is when patio heaters come in handy. Patio heaters improve the ambiance of your backyard and keep it warm throughout the year. During COVID-19, outdoor spaces have become particularly important, largely due to pandemic-related guidelines. For instance, such space makes it possible to maintain social distance during events such as family gatherings, as well as provide an ideal and safe space to exercise. However, while patio heaters allow you to enjoy your background throughout the year, even in colder months, they are a potential fire hazard. Keeping this in in mind, here are five heater safety tips to get you started.
Your Heater Should be Well Suited for the Space
Your patio heater can only perform optimally when it’s well suited for your outdoor space. Patio heaters run the gamut from classic domed heaters with a reflector to pyramid-like heaters that enclose the frame in a glass tube, to small table heaters that are suitable for small outdoor spaces. While each type of heater has its pros and cons, the rule of thumb is your heater should ideally generate 5,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) for every 100 square feet.
Most patio heaters come with built-in safety features. Therefore, when buying a heater, you should look out for the following features:
- No Naked Flames – Patio heaters should ideally contain the flames in an emitter or tempered glass tubing.
- Thermocouple – A thermocouple device responds to shifts in temperature and closes the gas valve whenever the flame goes off.
- CSA Safety Rating – CSA safety rating shows that a heater has been tested by an independent evaluator, and it meets the set safety standards in North America, says the CSA Group.
Safe Use of Heaters
- Safe Surroundings
You should only use patio heaters outdoors. Outdoors spaces are basically open/semi-open areas with adequate air circulation and ventilation which prevents carbon monoxide build up. Before placing a patio heater in any outdoor area, ensure that there is no structure obstructing airflow. Additionally, you should place it on a solid and sturdy surface.
- Fuel Safety
Most patio heaters on the market today run on either propane or natural gas. Each fuel variant has its pros and cons. Propane-powered heaters are mostly portable, while natural gas-powered heaters are cost-effective and generally designed to cover larger areas. With propane heaters, you should ensure you check for leaks on valves and hoses after changing the gas tank. Moreover, you should keep your spare tank away from heated areas and open flames. With natural gas-powered heaters, you should ensure that a certified professional connects your heater to the gas line.
- Safe Placement
To avoid accidental fires, you should not place your patio heaters close to combustible materials, including dry vegetation, flammable fabrics, or a heating oil tank. Your heaters should be at least three feet away from flammable substances.
- Obey Local Bylaws
Before installing a heating system, you should be aware of and adhere to the local bylaws and fire restrictions.
- Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions
Every heater is unique. Therefore, regardless of your experience with heaters, you should carefully review and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, from installation and operation to cleaning and maintenance.
If you take these safety precautions, your patio heaters can transform your outdoor space into a cozy space you can enjoy throughout the year. Moreover, if you need help with home insurance, call the professionals at Jack Stone Insurance Agency. Our team can help you accurately secure the right homeowners insurance in Hudson and beyond. Contact us today to get started before listing your home for sale.