Are ceiling fans dangerous? Can they fall or explode? In this article, you will be able to understand when ceiling fans are dangerous and how you can use them safely.
Ceiling fans are very useful in both summer and winter season due to their capacity of adding comfort and save energy bills at the same time. Other than that, they contain a lot of advantages that make them a must-have appliance in a modern place. They are attractive when selected keeping in view the overall décor of the room and will last longer when used appropriately and maintained on a regular basis.
However, the main aim of the ceiling fan is to run wildly hanging down from the ceiling and leaves the question in the minds of the users. Are ceiling fans safe? Or dangerous?
If you are one of those users who are confused about ceiling fan safety, this article will help you to explore it in detail. In this topic, you will get the answer to many of the questions about the ceiling fan safety, and it will clear all your doubts related to it.
Can Ceiling Fans Fall and Kill?
If you are new to ceiling fans, watching one unit rotating wildly hanging down from the ceiling, one of the first question that can come into your mind is, will it fall off? And if it does will it kill me?
Well, you are not alone, almost most users have this concern when they see a ceiling fan spinning for the first time.
But the best part is, the answer is usually in the negative.
Let us explain.
Modern ceiling fans have to go through the safety process during the manufacturing, especially if the fan is from a reputable brand. So, in short, they are very safe, until you do anything stupid like jumping into it when it is operating.
In addition, ceiling fan hardly falls if you have installed and maintained them properly. Injuries from a ceiling fan can be dangerous, but it hardly occurs because of your negligence and ignorance. The answer to this question is already answered in a detailed article earlier. You can get it here: Can ceiling fans fall and kill?
Can Ceiling Fans Explode?
Before we dive into this discussion, the first priority is to find out what is the definition of an “explosion”. It stands for the outburst of extreme level of pressure developed inside a contained chamber. According to Oxford dictionary, the definition of the word is “a violent and destructive shattering or blowing apart of something, as is caused by a bomb.” Or otherwise as “a sudden outburst of something such as noise, light, or violent emotion, especially anger.” You need to keep in mind that the process needs a build-up pressure to get it done. And luckily, a ceiling fan is designed without any thing that builds up pressure in a contained chamber. So, the answer is pretty evident.
In addition, unless you are taking a ceiling fan built from fragile material in this regard including glass, plastic or non-metallic material which I don’t think there is any, it means that the chances of your ceiling fan to explode are zero. A standard ceiling fan uses a metallic downrod (metal tube) to suspend from the ceiling which is fixed into the metallic body of the fan. The motor housing contains some copper wires, PCBs and capacitors, and none of them can explode. After that, there are blades which are fixed to the body that only uses at least three bolts. So, there is no explosives here. In addition to this, if you are not familiar with this fact that ceiling fans do not contain Plutonium or Uranium inside them.
When it comes to exploding, there is only one component that is the bulbs if you are trying to use more wattage incandescent bulbs than recommendation or they can be any glass covered bulbs. Even if they explode, these explosions will not be dangerous in almost all cases. In addition, such bulbs can explode without any consideration of where they are installed, inside the fan or outside. As far as explosions are concerned, ceiling fans are very safe in this regard. Still, if you want to avoid these circumstances, you can always use non-glass bulbs including LED and you will remain safe.
Is Sleeping with a Ceiling Fan Dangerous?
It is perfectly safe to sleep with a ceiling fan. If you are worried about it, it means that you have not used ceiling fans much. However, it can be slightly dangerous in terms of health conditions. The fan will not fall on you but it can make your fever, cold, cough and allergies worse when running at its high speed using its windchill effect to do the damage.
“Fans don’t pose serious risks during the night, but for some people, they might lead to mildly irritating symptoms.”
Healthline Media, Inc
In general, it is very safe to sleeping with a fan running at normal speed levels. I personally use the ceiling fan never had any issues. Ceiling fan allows me to sleep better with its comfortable air. In a nutshell, it is a part and parcel for me to experience a good sleep at night. I cannot sleep in the hot summer days without using my fan.
So, have a sound sleep with your fan running at normal speed levels without getting anxious. But if you are suffering with any health condition, you will prefer it at the low speed or find another way to stay cool.
Are Ceiling Fans Safe for Infants?
Yes, a running ceiling fan is safe for infants as it is for normal people. In short, ceiling fans can help them a great deal including give them refreshing breeze to reduce the problems which are related to sweat. Other than that, ceiling fans can also provide medical advantages. In 2008, a study about ceiling fans was published that states that ceiling fans can reduce the risk of SIDS in infants. According to healthline:
“In one 2008 article published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine, researchers found fan use during sleep was associated with a 72 percent reduction in SIDS risk.”
Healthline Media, Inc
However, you need to keep in mind that you must not run the fan at the highest speed in the room of the baby. The reason behind it is that it can restrict the baby from breathing or results in fever or other illnesses. So, it will be wise to keep it running at the low speed to obtain its benefits in the infant’s room.
Are Ceiling Fans Safe with Bunk Beds?
It is not a great ideal to install ceiling fans with bunk beds around, but in fact, you can use them in a secure way if you follow the proper guidelines while installation. If you are anxious about safety risk of ceiling fans used in conjunction with bunk beds, I prefer that you should be worried about the bed instead of the fan as it is riskier than the fan.
According to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Study, “… an average of 36,000 bunk bed-related injuries occur every year to children in the United States.” Needless to say, only a minute percentage of that figure occurs due to ceiling fans. The same source states, proving our point, “Most bunk bed-related injuries occur from falls while sleeping or playing.”
One of the researchers Lara McKenzie who conducted the study with others, advised, among other things, the bed should be far from any ceiling fan to maintain safety experience for your children, ABC News indirectly mentioned her as saying,
“By following these tips and the instructions that come with bunk beds, they can be used safely, even with the high numbers of childhood injuries found in the study.”
To go through the full list of safety measures to take when it comes to using bunk beds, read this guide from NCH.
In a nutshell, ceiling fans can be used securely along with bunk beds considering you follow all the measures. You should as we already discussed, position the bed away from the fan to keep the fan away from your kids. You should also teach them to remain out of the reach of it, also, guide them about the hazards that it can cause.
In the end, if you are not comfortable with a ceiling fan, you can always select a covered ceiling fan for your convenience.
Is a Wobbling Ceiling Fan Dangerous?
If you see that your ceiling fan has started wobbling, you might be curious to know, “Is it dangerous? In addition, are ceiling fans supposed to wobble?”. Do not worry you are not the only one wondering about it. And that is why we will pay attention to this too.
Ceiling fans are not supposed to wobble and if your fan is wobbling, it might be happening due to the incorrect installation, poorly manufacturing or because of an underlying condition.
Usually, ceiling fans wobble when –
- It is not installed professionally
- The hanger ball gets loose from its groove
- One or more blades get loose or bend (even slightly)
A wobbly ceiling fan is generally not very dangerous but if you leave it untreated for a long time, it can be. Another thing that can contribute to it is the cause of the wobble. If the wobble happened because of a blade being slightly bent, this is not a very big concern. But if the blade or the hanger ball has got loose, you have to worry about it and address it as early as possible and get it fixed.
Here is the video on how to fix a wobbly ceiling fan from Home Depot:
How Safe Is It to Leave a Ceiling Fan on All Day?
A lot of people are curious to know what would happen if you leave a ceiling fan running for a long time. A lot of people ask this question, “How long can a ceiling fan run continuously?”.
The fact is that ceiling fans are manufactured to run for long hours without interruption easily more than 8-10 hours. Another question is that can a ceiling fan catch fire? It is not possible as ceiling fans are designed with very low RPM less than 150 which is not good enough to generate friction to result in fire. In addition, they are made to remain in the safe temperature limit. It hardly happens that you might hear that ceiling fans causing a fire and it can happen because of improper installation, lack of maintenance, electric shorts and it is not going to happen if you left it running for long hours.
However, you need to keep in mind that ceiling fans do not lower the temperature of the room. They aim to circulate the air in your surroundings to make you “feel” cooler. So, leaving a ceiling fan on is only good if you are also there. You should not leave it running while you are away as it does not benefit you. It will definitely benefit you if you give some rest to your fan and save some electricity cost.
Is It Safe to Leave a Ceiling Fan on When Leaving for a Long Time?
It has the same answer we gave for the previous one. Yes, it is safe to leave it on for a long time if you have a good quality fan that gets regular maintenance. However, the question is why would you do that? Keep it on all the time will not benefit you in any way. Having said that, we always recommend that you give it a rest if you are not there to improve its lifespan. If something wrong happens with your ceiling fan, you will not be available to control it until you face a major accident such as the whole house burned down. So, it will also save some bucks and maybe in some sense, the planet too.
What Is a Safe Distance Between a Ceiling Fan Blade and a Wall?
When it comes to installing ceiling fans, you need to maintain a distance of at least 18 inches or more between the fan and the nearby walls, and it is recommended by EnergyStar. If we think about it technically, an inch will be sufficient. However, to fan to perform in a good way, and that is why it needs space around the fan as there is no air source from up top. Keep in mind because when a fan begins to wobble, it requires more space than its blades need. So, following the gap of 18 inches will be ideal.
Is the Electricity for a Ceiling Fan Dangerous to Work With?
If you are not familiar with the task, it can be quite dangers to work on ceiling fan electricals. The key to make the experience with ceiling fans safe is the proper installation and it can result in many things that can go wrong if you are not good enough to perform the task. The task includes to find out whether your ceiling fan box is fan rated or not, knowing how to do the wiring properly, and also fixing the parts with others in a professional way so that they prevent the loosening up with the passage of time because of vibration. If anything from these things go wrong, it can cause damage.
However, if you are familiar with electric work and familiar with your staff too, you can opt for a DIY ceiling fan installation from the instruction manual with the how to videos available on the web. Here is one as an example.
How Dangerous Is It to Mount a Fan to a Ceiling Box that Is Not Fan-Rated?
It can be very dangerous to install a ceiling fan on a box which is not fan-rated. A standard ceiling fan will weight between the range of ten to twenty pounds. If your ceiling fan box does not support or hold that weight, there is a great chance that the fan will fall down. When a ceiling fan falls, in most of the cases, it is not fatal all the time and it hardly happens, it can be devastating to anyone or anything that is underneath it. So, it will be wise to install your ceiling fan only on ceiling-fan rated boxes if you don’t want it to fall on you like a crushing helicopter.
How to Guarantee Ceiling Fan Safety
Here are some of our guidelines that you can follow to ensure ceiling fan safety for you, your visitors and family.
1. Purchase it from a reliable brand
If you can get a cheaply manufactured non-brand phone for less than $100, the latest features from a renowned brand will cost you more than $1000. There is a solid reason why would people pay an extra zero for that, it is because the brands are reliable and they keep their promises most of the time.
The same rule applies to anything in life and it also includes ceiling fans.
In the past, I used to compromise the quality when it comes to purchasing something to save some money. But it does not ensure the satisfaction. So, now, I prefer quality and believe me it makes my life better.
So, it will be wise to spend a few extra money if you need to, but you need to ensure that you buy it from a quality and renowned brand. The extra bucks spent will prove to be beneficial, it can be by stopping the fan from falling that would have happened with a low quality fan.
2. Leave enough space between the floor and the fan
I am familiar with the fact that it will be hard for users with low ceilings. Nevertheless, you need to ensure there is a space between your ceiling fan and floor so you can perform your daily routine tasks underneath it. If you have a low ceiling, you can opt for a flush mount or hugger ceiling fan and Minka-Aire Concept II Model can do the job. EnergyStar recommends that you should keep a gap of at least 7 ft (8-9 feet is preferred) between your ceiling fan and floor. Here is the exact quote:
“Ceiling fans should be installed, or mounted, in the middle of the room and at least 7 feet above the floor… If ceiling height allows, install the fan 8 – 9 feet above the floor for optimal airflow.”
If your ceiling fan is rotating, you should be able to raise your hand comfortably without touching it.
3. Install the fan away from bunk beds
As we have stated earlier in our bunk bed section, you need to keep your ceiling fans away from bunk beds. Children want to know about everything in their surroundings, and if it is a running ceiling fan, they will also be curious about it too. Installing a ceiling fan within the reach of your kids can result in health risks and they may want to reach it and get hit or fall from bed posing significant risks of serious injury.
So, it is a wise decision to keep ceiling fans away from beds.
Related Article: How to remove a ceiling fan
4. Don’t raise babies high while cuddling
In some cases, there is not much space between the fan and the floor. Usually, the space available can be sufficient to perform normal daily tasks such as lying, walking and so on. But in most cases, the space will not be sufficient to accommodate an adult and a baby raised high at the same time. And there is no doubt in saying that if the baby gets hit by the rotating blades of a fan can be a very harmful incident, perhaps even fatal, since we are discussing the babes who have an underdeveloped skull which is soft. So it will be favor for both of you, baby and yourself, never try to raise them under a running ceiling fan. The process can take a while to develop the essential subconscious alertness. But if you manage to spend time on it, you can do it.
5. Make the installation proper
To make sure a safe experience, it is important to ensure the proper installation of your fan. If you do it by yourself and know about it, you can do it yourself. Otherwise, you can get help of a pro to do it for you. It will worth the money. You can read more about it in our ceiling fan fall guide. You can also check it if necessary.
6. Do proper maintenance
Though ceiling fans do not need much maintenance, you should do it twice a year to ensure that your ceiling fan is in good position. If the units need any kind of maintenance, do it. You can read our guide for more detailed instructions and explanation as how to do the maintenance of your ceiling fans.
Related Read: How To Clean Ceiling Fan Blades
So, Are Ceiling Fans Safe or Dangerous?
To conclude, we can say that ceiling fans are also similar to other home appliances. If you are not expert in what you are doing, things can go against you. By taking the essential precautions, you can enjoy the comfortable breeze in the hot summer days in a very cost-effective and safe way. The main key here is the focusing on the necessary precautions. Just think that what will happen if nuclear power plant goes wrong, and yet people are generating clean energy from it for more than score years.