How to not burn your house down with a space heater
Space heaters can help take the chill off a cold morning. Space heaters can make a colder room warmer — most homes have warmer and colder areas. BUT space heaters are also a leading cause of home fires. We do not recommend use of space heaters, but if you must, then at least use them as safely as possible.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are involved in more than a thousand home fires every year. The National Fire Protection Association puts that figure into even starker context, noting that space heaters factor into about 43 percent of home heating-related fires (which includes items like water heaters and fireplaces) and 85 percent of associated deaths.
Things you absolutely SHOULD NOT DO with a space heater
- Do NOT plug them into a power strip or an extension cord
- Do NOT operate them when no one is home
- Do NOT EVER use a combustion space heater (non-electrical) inside a home
Things you SHOULD DO if considering using a space heater
- DO be sure you only buy one with the seal of a national lab, like “UL listed”
- DO purchase one with tip-over and overheat protection
- DO plug them directly into a wall outlet that is rated at least 15 amps
- DO put them on the floor or other flat, stable surface where they cannot fall
- DO put them where nothing can fall on top of them
- DO leave AT LEAST 3 feet of clearance around them
- DO follow all manufacturer instructions
Never leave the heater on while unattended, or while sleeping. Consequences could be disastrous.
And while you are at it: Test your smoke alarms!
And a video from ESFi
Some additional information about Space Heater safety
And some recent news stories about space heaters….