Is electric heating safe?

We’ve all heard scary stories of electric blankets and electric fan heaters catching fire. So is electric heating safe?
  • Posted by Emily Jade
  • 7 min read (930 words)
  • Last updated 26 Mar, 2024

We’ve all heard scary stories of electric blankets and electric fan heaters catching fire. So is electric heating safe?

Are electric heaters dangerous?

Electric heating safety concerns mostly come from electric blankets and portable electric heaters, such as fan heaters. These types of heaters are popular due to their convenience and quick warmth, however they can come with safety concerns. With proper usage and precautions these concerns can be minimised.

Keep electric blankets and portable heaters away from water sources, and don’t leave them unattended. Don’t use them as drying racks for damp clothes, and regularly check them for damage. If you use portable heaters, ensure they are placed on a stable and level surface to stop them tipping over. Finally, always follow manufacturer instructions.

Can electric radiators catch fire?

If not used properly, any electrical appliance can pose a fire risk. It’s vital to choose electric radiators with safety features such as overheat protection. When electric heaters are used correctly and well-maintained, the risk of them catching fire is generally very low.  

Can electric radiators cause carbon monoxide poisoning?

Electric heating does not produce carbon monoxide (CO), because it does not involve combustion. Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil or coal. As electric heating relies on electricity to generate heat, there is no combustion involved, and therefore no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It is essential to note that other types of heating systems, such as gas-powered space heaters, can produce carbon monoxide if they malfunction or are not properly ventilated. It’s crucial to ensure that any heating system powered by combustion is adequately maintained, properly installed, and well ventilated to prevent the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Electric heating systems are generally considered safer in terms of carbon monoxide risk compared to combustion-based heating systems, such as gas.

Are electric heaters bad for your health?

No, electric heaters are not inherently bad for your health. Improper use can pose safety risks, which is why it’s crucial to follow manufacturer instructions, ensure proper maintenance, and use electric heaters safely to prevent accidents.

Can electric heating make you ill?

No, electric heating systems do not typically make people ill. Some types of electric heating, such as night storage heaters, can make the air dry. This can cause discomfort, leading to symptoms such as dry throat, irritated sinuses, or aggravated allergies.

Can electric heating cause headaches?

No, electric heating does not typically directly cause headaches. Some types of electric heating, such as night storage heaters, can lead to dry air, which could cause headaches in susceptible individuals.

Can electric heating cause cancer?

There is no evidence to suggest that electric heating causes cancer. Electric heating systems, such as electric radiators, work by converting electrical energy into heat without producing emissions or byproducts that are known carcinogens.

Electric heating and asthma

Some forms of electric heating could impact those with asthma. While electric heaters do not produce emissions or combustion byproducts that can trigger asthma symptoms like traditional fuel-based heaters, they could affect indoor air quality. Some forms of electric heating can cause dry air, which could trigger asthma symptoms. Inadequate ventilation in spaces heated by electric heaters could lead to a build-up of indoor air pollutants such as dust and pet dander. This can be mitigated by ensuring proper ventilation and ensuring you keep radiators clean of dust and debris.

Are electric radiators safe?

You should install an electric heating system that you can rely on. While upfront costs can seem expensive, it’s a great long-term investment that can help to reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint.

ELKATHERM® electric radiators are designed with safety in mind. If anything is placed over the top of the radiator, it will trip and turn off, keeping you safe. They can be wall-mounted – so they can’t be knocked over easily – and there’s no gas or carbon monoxide risks, as they are electric.

Can electric radiators be left on?

Not all electric radiators, but ELKATHERM® radiators can. They contain a super dense ceramic fireclay core, into which the element is directly embedded. This means no air gaps or moisture that can penetrate to cause corrosion. The embedding of the element also gives direct heat transfer, for rapid heating of your home. Once an ELKATHERM® radiator has reached temperature, it will typically only draw between 15-17 minutes of electricity per hour to just top up the core and maintain your cosy home.

The safety of electric heaters depends on proper usage and precautions, especially for portable heaters like electric blankets and fan heaters. Following manufacturers guidelines can minimise risks, however electric radiators like ELKATHERM® provide a safer alternative. Boasting built-in safety features such as thermal trips, they are cost-effective, give you precise temperature control and allow you to heat each room individually, selecting times and temperatures to suit your lifestyle.

Get in touch today to find out more or to book your free home survey.

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