In the cold winter months, a space heater can be a helpful way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. But space heaters can also pose a fire hazard, especially if they are used incorrectly or don’t meet current safety standards. Follow the tips below to make sure you are using your space heater safely.
- Shop for a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards. A certified heater will have a safety certification mark from testing organizations such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) , Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL).
- If you live in a mobile home, make sure your space heater is made specifically for use in mobile homes. Mobile homes require specially designed heating equipment to prevent fires.
- Buy models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.
- Never use a stove or an oven to heat your home.
- Keep all flammables, like paper, clothing, bedding, drapes or rugs, at least 3 feet from a space heater.
- Never leave portable heaters unattended; turn off heaters before leaving the room.
- Be sure to place space heaters on a level, nonflammable surface, like ceramic tile. Not on a rug or carpet.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Never run the heater’s cord under rugs or carpeting. This can damage the cord and cause a fire.
- Never operate space heaters with an extension cord or power strip. Space heaters should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. Be sure the heater plug fits tightly into the wall outlet.
- Check wires and plugs for fraying or overheating.
For more information on space heater and fire safety, visit https://www.nsc.org/community-safety/safety-topics/emergency-preparedness/fire-safety?