Home Safety Tips : Portable Electric Space Heaters

Portable electric space heaters require careful usageFor spot heating, many homeowners turn to portable electric space heaters; it’s often more efficient to plug one in than to raise the household thermostat by a degree or two.

But using a space heater isn’t as safe as it is simple.  According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2005, space heaters were responsible for:

  • 32% of home heating-related fires
  • 57% of home heating-related property damage
  • 73% of home heating-related civilian deaths

Space heaters cause a disproportionate amount of damage versus central heating systems and fireplaces.  Therefore, it’s important to practice safety and care when using space heaters.

Some basic space heater safety tips include:

  • Don’t place anything that can burn within three feet away of the space heater.
  • Make sure that your space heater has the label of a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory.
  • Never use an extension cord on a space heater.
  • Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

And, of course, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Heating Safety Tips
National Fire Protection Agency