Children and Baseboard Heater Safety

It's no wonder baseboard heaters have a bad rap among parents with young kids. Hot metal bits littered around the perimeter of nearly every room. They are fastened to the wall at just the perfect height for little crawlers to explore. If this doesn't present enough of a potential danger, most hot water baseboard heater covers incorporate all sorts of parts that feature sharp exposed edges.

Initially our easy slip-on baseboard heater covers were never intended to address safety issues. It was only after dozens of e-mails and phone calls from concerned parents that we realized the product also helped to achieve a safer baseboard heater. The one piece design that covers the big open gap at the top of the heater where the heat exits is the single most effective way to keep skin and a finned tube element separated.

There are two types of baseboard heating; electric and hydronic (hot water). Heated water flows through the copper pipes of a hot water system at about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Once this heat transfers to the covers, touch temperatures are well below dangerous levels. However it is the common electric heater that is the genuine bad boy of baseboard heating. Electrically powered finned tube elements can get hot, real hot. Depending on the wattage of the heater, a young curious finger could easily experience touch temperatures as high as 200 degrees Fahrenheit if contact was made with the element. Our easy slip-on baseboard heater covers will get just as hot as the original heater. Baseboarders should never be used as a cool-to-the-touch solution.

Electric baseboard heaters must be listed as certified. Hydronic heaters do not require a listing. The Canadian Standards Association and Underwriters Laboratories are two prime examples of listing agencies. Their job is to test all sorts of consumer products where laws dictate certain products must adhere to codes of safety and performance standards. So with all these approvals in place why aren't electric baseboard heaters still so dangerous? It's the flawed design of the enclosure. All electric heaters have a big gap at the top that runs the entire length. This makes the element highly visible and easily accessible to small children. Even though Baseboarders are not designed for electric baseboard heaters, it seems a good number of customers are using the easy slip-on cover to eliminate this danger. If electric heaters are to be covered, Wall brackets must always used to ensure the panel does not touch the original listed electric heater. Modifying a listed product in anyway can void the certification.