Ceiling fans are a fixture in most American homes. They are efficient at circulating air so they reduce utility bills and they’re helpful in humid climates. But are ceiling fans safe? Ceiling fans are safe in general. However, we can’t ignore the fact that some have caused injuries. There are some precautions which need to be taken to ensure safety. Below we discuss the common mistakes in an installation that can make ceiling fans unsafe.
Floor to ceiling distance
When you are installing your fan, you should make sure that no part of the fan blades or the entire fan is less than 7 feet from the floor. That’s the best way to ensure people don’t make inadvertent contact with the fan. You can maximize the downward air movement when the fan blades are set around 8 or 9 feet from the floor. If your ceiling is too high, then you can set it to the best height you find fit.
For ceilings that are lower than 8 feet from the floor, homeowners can opt for low-profile fan models. Fan blades should also be at least 18 inches from the walls. If you intend to install fans for commercial use, make sure they are at least 10 feet from the floor.
Lack of support
One of the main reasons why most people consider these fans unsafe is the fact that some do break free from the ceiling. To deal with such a problem, it is advisable to make sure the fan is supported by an electrical junction box that has been listed for that use. Additionally, a fan brace box will also need to be installed.
A junction box will support your fully assembled fan, however, it is important to understand that it can also exert additional forces causing the support to fail if it is not upgraded in due time. When replacing light fixtures with fans, make sure the junction box is good enough to keep the fan in place.
When fan blades are misaligned from one another, they are bound to cause this defect. This can be dangerous if the fan continues to operate in this state. The problem can be a result of the following differences.
- Size and weight of individual blades
- Bent blade irons or blades
- Loose blade irons
This means that the ceiling or the particular way your fan was mounted is not the cause of your wobbly fan. Such fans are only unsafe not because they can fall, but because they may cause other light fixtures or shades to loosen and eventually fall.
To keep your fan safe and avoid wobbling, you should make sure the items listed above are securely attached. All the screws should be tightly set. You can tell whether the blades are in the same place or not by holding a straight stick against the ceiling then get the distance that the tip of each blade is from the ceiling by pushing the blades manually. You can carefully bend the blade that’s not aligned properly back into place. If measurements reveal that blades are equidistant, they can also be corrected.
Ceiling fans are safe, provided they are installed correctly. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills, you should hire a professional to install your ceiling fan. Inappropriate floor to ceiling distance, lack of support or improper assembly can all lead to accidents. To ensure the safety of your home and family, make sure all your ceiling fans are installed properly. If you notice that one of your ceiling fans is violating one of the three safety rules we discussed, call a professional to repair your ceiling fan.
Learn more about ceiling fans
There are many things to consider when choosing a ceiling fan. For instance, are ceiling fans safe for babies? Do ceiling fans cause sinus problems? Or can ceiling fans reduce radon levels? And beyond safety concerns, you may be curious if ceiling fans are out of style. Once you’ve read up on ceiling fans, check out our guide to the best ceiling fans on the market right now. And once you buy your new fan, please consider our advice to make sure it’s installed safely.