You probably know space heaters can be dangerous and have to be used very carefully, so the appeal of a TikTok hack for making your own heater might stem from an interest in avoiding a fire hazard. Unfortunately, the DIY heater is dangerous itself and after a fire in England was attributed to the trick, fire officials are warning people not to try it. Here’s what you need to know about the no-good method, as well as how you can heat your home safely.
What’s the TikTok heater hack?
The DIY heater is actually pretty simple, which is probably why it’s caught on so fast, incendiary pun intended. You just invert a terracotta pot over some tea lights, light the candles, and allow the pot to absorb their heat. Ideally, the tea lights should be on a flat terracotta surface and flat stone should be used to keep the upper pot from resting directly on the flat piece.
The video-sharing app is full of clips of people doing it and while they claim “it really works,” that doesn’t mean it’s safe. The English fire attributed to the method was determined to have happened after the heat weakened the flat plate the tea lights were on, causing the whole structure to collapse and melted wax to ignite.
How can you heat your home for cheap?
Saving money on your heating bill is important for many, but there is a balance you can strike where you are safe, warm, and economical all at once.
First of all, you should keep in mind that it’s not really that much cheaper to use a space heater than to just turn up the thermostat. If you do want to use a space heater instead, make sure you do it safely. Also check that your smoke detectors are in good working order, that any space heater you’re using has the Underwriter’s Laboratory label indicating it’s up to code, it’s not too large, and that your kids, pets, and furniture are all kept well away from it. Use a space heater that automatically turns itself off and keep it on a flat, nonflammable surface, plugged directly into an outlet.
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