Space Heater Safety

We’re spending more time at home, and that means we’re spending more time with space heaters. For homes in regions with milder winters with no central heating, space heaters may be the main source for heating. In colder climates they may be used to supplement central heating, and to keep down heating fuel costs.

Stay safe this winter with these tips:

  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn—paper, bedding, clothing, curtains or furniture  Having combustibles too close to the heat source is the leading factor contributing to home heating fires.
  • Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Keep children away from space heaters, especially when they’re wearing night gowns or other loose clothing that can easily catch fire.
  • With electrical heaters, make sure the circuit isn’t overloaded. Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet, and don’t plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater. Don’t use an extension cord or power strip; these could overheat and start a fire.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces.
  • Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Keep electrical heaters well away from water.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.

Learn about safely using kerosene heaters here.