Space Heater Safety: Don’t Get Burned This Winter

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When the temperature drops, portable space heaters can be a great way to keep warm in your home or office without turning up the heat on everyone else. However, these devices can also be a major fire hazard. Here are some ways to stay safe and toasty this winter.

How can I keep warm without using a space heater?

  • Close doors
  • Increase building temperature
  • Dress for the season

How can I prevent fire and injury?

  • Never leave it unattended
  • Must be placed on the floor (unless specifically indicated otherwise by the manufacturer)
  • Never place anything on the heater
  • Must be free of dust
  • Don’t place by thermostat
  • Leave three feet of clearance around the heater
  • Plug directly into the wall outlet — no extension cords or power strips can be used
  • Unplug when not attended

What kind of heater should I use?

  • An electrically powered one
  • Has an electrical cord in good condition
  • Has either Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) and/or approved by Factory Mutual (FM) tags or labels
  • Has a thermostat, which will shut off at desired temperature
  • Does not have open elements (is convection or radiator type, NOT a radiant open element heater)
  • Has a tip-over shutdown feature

For additional information, see the CPSC Safety Alert on Portable Electric Heaters to help keep yourself safe at work and home.

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