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Are space heaters pet friendly?

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When cold weather creeps in, your thermostat may not be enough to keep you and your family toasty during the winter months, especially if you live in a cold-weather climate. You may find that you need some extra warmth for your home on frigid days. Animals need to stay warm throughout the winter, too. Your pets may sport their own fur coats, but it may not be enough to keep them from feeling chilly. Since heating the whole home can be costly, using space heaters to warm up frequently used rooms can alleviate higher heating bills, and keep your family warm through the coldest months. Before going out and purchasing an electric space heater, however, it’s important to consider the safety of your pets. Always remember the golden rule of pet and space heater safety… never leave a space heater unattended–especially when pets are in the home.

While all electrical appliances used inside the home carry a risk, the good news is that you might be able to use an electric space heater while also keeping your indoor pet safe. Understand these tips for pet-friendly heating options before purchasing and using an electric heater in your space to keep your furry companions safe and warm.

Choose the Right Safety Features

Before purchasing a heater, make sure that it has certain safety features. All Lasko heaters are equipped with several safety features, including overheat protection and cool-touch exteriors. A cool-touch exterior means that no matter how toasty the room will be when using your heater, the device’s housing and carry handle itself stay cool to the touch. When in use, front exhaust grills on space heaters could be hot, so it important to be vigilant and keep pets away from the heater’s front. Ceramic heaters may be the best choice for pet owners, since they provide both cool-touch and built-in safety shut-offs. Some electric heaters expose their heating elements, which means the heater surface will be hot. It’s best to invest in a device that stores the heating element in the center and keeps it guarded by metal or plastic grills. Lasko’s Ceramic heaters have a self-regulating element, which prevents overheating. Choosing a heater with multiple safety features means that your pets (and you!) are less at risk for accidents.

Consider the Space

Where will you put your new heater? The room where you will use your heater and its placement in the room are two important things to consider. Room heaters, like the Digital Ceramic Heater with Warm Air Motion Technology, can keep your living room, kitchen, or bedroom warm while still maintaining the ultimate in safety. Smaller ceramic heaters, like the Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostat, offer the same safety features and heating power as large heaters, within a fraction of the space. It’s best to keep the heater out of the usual paths of your pets. If they are used to playing in a certain space, or tend to nap against the same wall, do not put your heater in their way. (After all, they were here first!) Try keeping your heater in an area of the room where your pet cannot easily access it. Remember to maintain a 3-foot buffer zone around the heater so that furniture is not pressed against the device. Keep this in mind for smaller pets that are in cages or tanks; do not place your heater where your animals can become overheated. If you have a cat, avoid placing the heater on a tabletop. Cats enjoy jumping and climbing, which means there is a good chance they’ll use the heater as their new playground. A ceramic tower heater may be a good option because of its sleek, compact, floor-based design.

Clear the Cords

You already have a pet running across your house – try to make sure that your cords are not running across the floor as well. Heaters should always be plugged directly into a 120V wall outlet, not a power strip, surge protector, or any type of multiple outlet adapter. When placing your heater in your space, make sure that the cord is plugged directly into the wall and out of the way. Cords that run across high-traffic areas in your home present a safety hazard for both you and your pet; tripping over cords is dangerous for all the creatures in your home. Playful pets may think the cord is a toy; cats may try to bat the cord like yarn, and young puppies may try to turn it into a chew toy. Make sure the cord is not as tempting as catnip to your feline friends. Always remain in the room with your pets when the heater is in use.

Unplug for Peace of Mind

Today’s heaters come with multiple safety features to prevent overheating, and some include tip-over safety switches that turn the product off if it is knocked over. If you are at all concerned about your pets’ proximity to the heater, the safest course of action is to turn off and unplug your heater when leaving the room. Get into a habit of unplugging when not in use, even when you are still at home with your pets. Set a phone reminder or leave yourself a note to unplug when leaving the house in the morning. That simple step can provide endless peace of mind.