space heater Space Heater Safety Tips space heater


According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) consumers are not using care when purchasing and using space heaters. Approximately 21,800 residential fires are caused by space heaters a year and 300 people die in these fires.
If you have a space heater, please review the listed safety tips and do your part in helping to reduce fires and deaths caused by space heaters.

  1. Read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions. A good practice is to read aloud the instructions and warning labels to all members of the household to be certain that everyone understands how to operate the heater safely. Keep the owner’s manual in a convenient place to refer to when needed.
  2. Choose a space heater that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters meet specific safety standards.
    Buy a heater that is the correct size for the area you want to heat. The wrong size heater could produce more pollutants and may not be an efficient use of energy.
    Choose models that have automatic safety switches that turn off the unit if it is tipped over accidentally.
  3. Select a space heater with a guard around the flame area or heating element. Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
    Keep doors open to the rest of the house if you are using an un-vented fuel-burning space heater. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) production.
    Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep. Never place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
  4. Turn the space heater off if you leave the area. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Children should not be permitted to either adjust the controls or move the heater.
    Keep any portable heater as least three feet away from curtains, newspapers or anything that might burn.
  5. Have a smoke detector with fresh batteries on each level of the house and a carbon monoxide detector outside your sleeping area.
  6. Be aware that mobile homes require specially designed heating equipment. Only electric or vented fuel-fired heaters should be used.
  7. Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually.
  8. Do not hang items to dry above or on the heater.
  9. Keep all heaters out of high traffic and exit areas.
  10. Keep portable electric heaters away from sinks, tubs and other wet or damp places to avoid deadly electric shocks.
  11. Never use or store flammable liquids (such as gasoline) around a space heater. The flammable vapors can flow from one part of the room to another and be ignited by the open flame or by an electrical spark.