Space Heater Safety Tips

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Electrical Space Heater Safety

In cold weather many people struggle to keep their homes warm and may turn to space heaters.  Please be aware that space heaters can be dangerous and should be used with caution. Here are a few safety rules to follow:

  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn: people, curtains, furniture, newspapers, magazine, etc.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Unplug space heaters when you shut them off, leave your home, or go to bed.
  • Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
  • Never leave a space heater on and unattended.
  • Make sure the cord to your space heater is not causing a trip hazard for you, or a possible overturn hazard for the space heater.
  • Place the space heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
  • Older space heaters may not meet newer safety standards so be sure to 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.
  • Dispose of any space heater that has a damaged cord, broken prongs or appears to be damaged in any way.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use of your space heater.

Also remember to use caution when operating portable gas-powered generators. These generators are meant to be placed outside the home and garage (away from windows and doorways, or other locations that fumes may enter) and can generate significant fumes which can be deadly if used indoors. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use. 

Information provided by a grant funded program to Via Christi through the National Fire Protection Association as well as the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission at


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