Space Heater Safety
Space heaters can provide extra comfort during the winter season. Following are some basic tips* that will help ensure their safe use.
- For heating purposes, use only equipment that is made for home heating. Use all types of heaters carefully and follow all directions for safe use.
- Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have the most up-to-date safety features. Older space heaters may not meet newer safety standards. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.
- Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
- Keep the heater at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials.
- Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
- Turn the heater off if you leave the area.
- Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
- Don’t place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
- Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
- Don’t use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.
- Never use your oven, grill or clothes dryer to heat your home. This could cause a fire or dangerous carbon monoxide gas.
Portable heaters and burning candles that are left unattended, especially around children and pets, can create a fire hazard. In addition, gasoline- or diesel-powered generators and appliances can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide and should never be operated inside the home or garage.
Also, be sure to place smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Guard against carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings as well by installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Make sure that your batteries in all alarms are fresh and working.
Using extension cords to bring electricity into a location where electric service was shut off may create a fire hazard. If this situation is detected, the Local Codes Enforcement Officer will be notified.
* This includes information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.