Space Heater Safety

Space heaters work well to heat up a room and take the chill out of the air, but

  • Make sure the space heater has been tested to the latest standards and is certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Make sure the heater has an automatic “tip-switch,” a cutoff device (now required) that turns off electric or kerosene heaters if they tip over.
  • Make sure it has a guard around the flame area or heating element.
  • Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface; do not place on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, or on tables or countertops.
  • Keep the heater at least 3 feet from bedding, drapes, furniture or other flammable items.
  • Turn off and unplug the space heater if you leave the area, and never leave a space heater on while sleeping or if you leave home.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Do not use older space heaters or heaters with cords that are cracked or frayed.
  • Always unplug a space heater when not in use as appliances can develop a short in the wiring and cause a fire.
  • If an extension cord must be used make sure it is the same size or larger than the one attached by the manufacturer to the heater. Never use a two prong cord where a three prong with ground wire is required.  




space heater

Meg McAlpine
FCS Agent IV
Contributing Editor