Fire Prevention: Space Heater Safety Tips

It is estimated that more than 25,000 residential fires and more than 300 deaths are caused each year by space heaters alone. This is an incredibly frightening number, especially when it’s realized that the vast majority of these fires could easily have been prevented. Simply following basic space heater safety tips can make the difference between a safe, heated home, and a serious accident. We’re going to take you through our space heater safety tips, as a reminder to be extra cautious as the weather gets colder.

Only Use Electric Space Heaters Inside

Not all space heaters are made equal – some can only be used outdoors, and it is vitally important to make sure that you never use these types of heaters inside your home. If a heater meant for outdoor spaces is used indoors, it can cause a potentially fatal accident for yourself and your family.

Enercare tells us more about why electric space heaters should be used inside only:

“You should only use an electric heater inside your home. Fuel-burning space heaters are intended for open-air use and should never be brought into the house, even if you are undergoing furnace maintenance and have no other source of heating. Using a fuel-burning space heater inside could expose your family to carbon monoxide or other poisonous gases. For the safety of you and your loved ones, it’s always best to stick with smaller, electric space heaters.”

Space Heater Placement

Space heaters get hot – after all, that’s what they’re meant to do. However, this means that you need to keep them away from any type of furniture and material that can easily go up in flames, in order to prevent the surrounding area potentially going up in flames.

Sylvane explains why space heater placement is crucial to preventing fire hazards:

“It’s generally suggested that space heaters be placed at least 3 feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs, and other combustibles.

These items can cause a risk of fire if they come in contact with a unit’s electric heating element or too-hot surface.

Other Placement Tips

  • Never sit or drape anything on top of a portable heater.

  • In addition, be sure that the heater is placed on a hard, level surface.

  • Review your owner’s manual for specific instructions on your heater.”

Check for Overheat Protection

It’s more than wise to ensure that when purchasing a space heater, it comes with an overheat protection feature. This feature will automatically turn off your space heater if it detects it’s getting too hot, and can be essential in preventing an accident from occurring. However, not all space heaters have this feature, and it’s important to take extra precautions if yours does not.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission tells us what to do if your space heater does not have this feature:

Fire-Alert takes pride in equipping homeowners with all necessary fire safety devices to ensure the well-being of families across the nation. Contact us using our contact form to find out more.