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10 Space Heater Safety Tips | Heating & Electrical Safety

Baby, it’s cold outside. Whether you turn to extra layers of clothing, throw blankets or parkas to keep warm, many will turn to a space heater to help supplement their regular heating system. Although they are convenient, they do increase your risk of fire or electrical shock if they aren’t used properly.

10 Space Heater Safety Tips

Here are 10 tips to remember the next time you bring out your space heater:

  1. ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s instruction manual before using any space heater. The manufacturers know what they’re talking about.
  2. Check to make sure the heater bears the mark of a nationally recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or Intertek (ETL).
  3. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials, such as bedding, clothing, furniture, rugs and holiday decorations.
  4. Do not use space heaters in wet or damp areas unless the manufacturer’s instructions indicate that it is meant to be used in wet locations such as bathrooms.
  5. Do not use space heaters in rooms where children are unsupervised. Children may stick their fingers or other objects through the protective guards, causing burns or shock.
  6. Portable heaters have hot parts that can cause sparking. Do not use them in areas where flammable liquids such as gasoline or kerosene are used or stored.
  7. Space heaters are meant to supply supplemental heat. Don’t use them to warm bedding or cook food. Unless you really want toasted marshmallows. Just kidding, don’t do that.
  8. Plug portable space heaters directly into an outlet; do not use an extension cord.
  9. Make certain the circuit into which you plug a space heater can adequately and safely handle the added demand.
  10. Unplug and safely store portable space heaters when not in use.

Download NFPA’s Portable Space Heater Safety Tips: PortableHeaterSafety_UHE

Download NFPA’s Heating Safety Tips: Heating_Safety_UHE


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