November 15, 2019

Have you ever wondered if that big propeller-shaped thing that’s flying around above your head if really safe? If you have, then you’re not alone. After all, it’s quite a common and understandable concern to have. What if it falls down? How heavy is it? While ceiling fans have a lot of benefits and can be a great addition to a room, are they as safe as they ought to be?

If you’ve had any of these concerns before, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to drill down on the question and find out how safe ceiling fans really are. As with a lot of questions like this, there are understandable a lot of variables. Things like the age of the fan, where it was made and importantly who installed it can all play a big role. So as well as looking at ceiling fan’s general safety, we’ll also give you a few more tips to try and make sure your fan is as safe as possible, so you can have the extra peace of mind you’ve been looking for. So let’s have a look, are ceiling fans really safe?

What are some typical fan faults that could affect their safety?

Good maintenance of your ceiling fan can make a big difference when looking at how safe it might be. We’ll have a closer look at how to take care of your fan a bit later so that you can ensure it’s safe at all times, but here are a few common faults that could lead to issues.

Firstly, as a moving piece of equipment it’s quite common for screws to become loose. If left unchecked for long periods, this could lead to serious issues. Make sure you keep screws tight at all times and perform regular checks and fix-ups every few months. If it looks to be wobbly, switch it off and check it immediately for any loose screws or other issues.

You’ll also want to make sure the electric current that is being supplied to the fan is correct. The wrong current could damage internal parts of the ceiling fan. This might not make it unsafe, but it could stop it working altogether. Incorrect wiring and electric issues could also make it a fire hazard. Get it signed off by a qualified electrician to be sure.

Another issue that could affect the safety of your ceiling fan is what it’s near and the surrounding materials. Make sure it isn’t touching or rubbing against any upholstery or other parts of your room. Make sure it’s secured but unobstructed.

You might be surprised to hear that some people install ceiling fans that are too low and could actually hit someone’s scalp. Never install a ceiling fan at this sort of height. If you’ve got low ceilings, you might want to consider another option.

Wobbling can occur not just when screws are loose, but also when one blade is heavier than another. This wobbling can cause the fan to loosen itself even further or become more likely to be unsafe. You might be able to spot uneven blades from an unusual or annoying noise. While this sort of wobbling, including one caused by loose screws, could lead to the fan falling—this is still quite unlikely. However, it’s something you should be careful of, just in case.

One other way ceiling fans could be unsafe is not due to the fan itself but the ceiling or material they’re fixed to. If you have any rot or damaged ceilings, this could make an issue more likely. Make sure you’ve checked the ceiling structure and strength carefully. Also, the fan needs to be installed professionally by someone who knows what they’re doing.

Can your ceiling fan fall?

Ceiling falls are unlikely, but they aren’t impossible. As we’ve already touched on, loose screws and uneven blades can lead to fan falls, but so can poor installations or ceilings that aren’t strong enough. The reality is that a ceiling fan falling is quite low. Especially if you’ve made sure you keep your fan well-maintained and secure, it was installed professionally and is fixed to a strong ceiling.

Fan falls aren’t the only ways these fans could be unsafe. Make sure they’re at a high enough height and that their electrics have been checked thoroughly. While fires from ceiling fans are also rare, you shouldn’t really leave your ceiling fan running when you aren’t at home. Not only is this risky, it’s also a waste of energy and could make your bills higher.

How to secure your ceiling fan and prevent injury

Even though fan falls are rare, you still need to be careful and always make sure you look after your fan well. If you notice any strange sounds or the fan looks like it isn’t moving properly, turn it off immediately and check all the screws. Check the structure above regularly as well. Even if you don’t spot any issues, regular checks are still a good idea.

Make sure the fan is installed by a team of professionals who know what they’re doing. Make sure all electric work is either carried out by a qualified electrician, or signed off by one. Make sure there aren’t any damp issues or other factors that could impact the integrity of your ceiling fan. Remember, fans like this aren’t designed to be used outside, that means they won’t cope well with water and other external weather factors. Bear this in mind when you use your fan and make sure they aren’t getting damaged by anything they shouldn’t be.

While ceiling fans aren’t completely safe, they are generally safe enough. Look after yours properly and you should be fine. But if you’re concerned, you might want to consider another kind of cooling system like air-con. These have their own issues as well, and might be more expensive, but this is something you’ll have to make a choice on yourself.

About the Author James S

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