When Using Space Heaters - Think Safety 1st

Regardless of whether your space heater is fresh out of the box or several years old, it should be used safely, since most home heating fire deaths (86%) involve using one, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In fact, heating equipment is the second-leading cause of U.S. home fires, right behind cooking.

Along with using a unit that is in good working order, be sure to keep clothing, papers, rugs and other flammable items at least 3 feet away from a space heater. More than half of the heating-related home fires start when items are too close to the heat source, according to the NFPA, including upholstered furniture, clothing, a mattress or bedding.

Rock Energy recommends these additional space heater safety tips:

  1. Read all instructions and only use as recommended.
  2. Do not leave a space heater unattended.
  3. Plug it directly into an outlet; most power strips and extension cords are not equipped to handle the energy spikes caused by a space heater cycling on and off.
  4. Unplug any other item from the outlet you are using; also try to use a dedicated circuit to avoid overload.
  5. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  6. Turn them off before you leave the room or go to sleep.
  7. Do not use a heater in disrepair or with a frayed cord or damaged plug.
  8. Place them on flat, level surfaces and never place on furniture, counters or carpet, which can overheat.

Source: SafeElectricity.org