Use Your Space Heater Safely

November 19th, 2014

Written by: Rachel Johnson

Space heater

Many people use space heaters for winter warmth, but they can be dangerous if used improperly.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 25,000 home fires every year are associated with space heaters, and cause over 300 deaths. An additional 6,000 people annually go to the hospital for related burns.

These fires are caused by contact with or nearness to the heating elements, flammable fuels used in the heaters, defective wiring, and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper venting or incomplete fuel combustion.

Here are tips for using a space heater safely:

  • Keep it at least 3 feet from flammables, such as curtains, clothing, furniture or bedspreads.
  • Select a model with an automatic shut-off, in case it tips.
  • Buy one that is certified by an independent testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Buy the right size to handle the area to be heated.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep kids and pets at a safe distance.
  • Never leave it unattended, or sleep with it on.
  • Never use or store flammable liquids near it.
  • Do not use in a bathroom—a high-moisture area can cause damage.
  • Keep it away from water to prevent electrocution.
  • Check the cord for fraying and cracks, and do not use an extension cord to run it.
  • Be sure the plug fits snugly in the outlet. (The cord and plug may feel warm when operating, but it shouldn’t feel hot. If it does, unplug it and have a repair person check for problems.)
  • Do not try to repair a broken heater yourself—go to a qualified appliance service center.

Categories: Michigan Country LinesSafety Tips

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11 thoughts on “Use Your Space Heater Safely”

  1. Kaley says:

    Great reminder – I use a space heater in a couple rooms from time to time.

  2. Shawna says:

    Great post about space heaters, thanks!

  3. I’m not a typical blogger. But, for a chance to win $25.00 credit. Heh, I’m willing to learn. Wish me luck! BTW… nice and east navigatalbe web page too.

  4. Anne says:

    As a safety precaution, we also unplug our heater when not in use. We don’t have central heat in our house, so we need a space heater in our bathroom.

  5. Ann says:

    Great blog!

  6. Great advice! My house could of been in a fire if I had left our heater on when I discovered it was really hot…same with cell phone chargers!

  7. Laura Harman says:

    I have been a co-op member of cherryland since 1991 – I must say it has been exciting watching and experiencing all the up-grades and support for the Cherryland electric community. Cherryland Co-op continues to grow and educate members on many energy saving tactics, and I love the mag that comes to my mail box each month – so I can read what is new and current! TThank you Cherryland!

  8. Ann Culp says:

    I like the new format, and tips for safety are always appreciated!

  9. Jennifer says:

    We purchased an Eden electric heater (actually 2). It helps cut down on fire hazards, also nice if the gas furnace goes down over the weekend.

  10. Amanda Carpenter says:

    Thanks for the great advise and new website. Very user friendly.

  11. Eric Lingaur says:

    Very good tips. Especially the stuff for kids.