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Protect Your Home with these Space Heater Safety Tips

12/01/22

Space heater safety tips

In the colder months of winter, space heaters are a must in most homes. They’re convenient and make staying warm in your home much easier. But despite their benefits, you should consider some essential safety considerations before turning on your heater.

Keep the Space Heater on the Floor

One of the most common mistakes people make when using space heaters is to place them on furniture or other elevated surfaces. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous because it can cause your space heater to tip over, leading to fires and further property damage.

warming feet with space heater

Another big mistake people make is placing their space heaters on rugs or carpets.

This can lead to problems including:

  • Your carpet catching fire which can spread quickly and cause significant damage to your home. This is especially true if you have synthetic carpets that are flammable or if you have wooden floors underneath your carpeting.
  • Dust builds up around the base of your space heater, which may prevent it from working properly and could cause overheating of the unit itself. This could lead to a fire if there’s too much dust where the heating element is located.

The best place for your space heater is on a flat, smooth tiled floor.

Move All Flammable Objects Away

It’s common sense, but don’t use a space heater near flammable items. The last thing you want is your clothes or curtains to catch fire because they got too close to the heat source.


To stay safe, you should keep all combustible materials away from your space heater – especially drapes, curtains, and furniture. The heat radiating from the unit can ignite these items. Other flammables include books, electronics, and any bedding.

man turning up the space heater heat

It’s advisable to keep all items at least three feet away from your space heater. This reduces the risk of fire. And never place anything nearby that could topple over, like cushions or pillows.

Never Leave the Space Heater Unattended

Don’t leave your space heater unattended. Even if your space heater is on a timer, don’t assume it will turn off automatically when the timer runs out or when you leave the room.


If you go to bed at night or leave the room for any reason, turn off the heater and unplug it from the wall outlet. This is especially important if you have small children or pets that might accidentally turn on the heater.

heater meme

Even if you think it’s turned off completely, there may still be enough heat left in the device to cause a serious burn (or even start a fire if it comes into contact with flammables). Exercise caution around the space heater at all times.

Don’t Use Power strips or Extension Cords

You should never plug a space heater into an extension cord or power strip. The problem is that extension cords and power strips are not designed to handle the extra heat load of a space heater. While they can provide short-term relief in emergencies, they’re not meant for regular use. They’ll eventually get too hot and start a fire if you use them regularly.

Above all, space heaters are designed to radiate heat in all directions — not just up into the air around them. That means they’ll warm up any nearby objects (like walls) and air in their immediate vicinity. Unfortunately, extension cords and power strips aren’t designed for this heat transfer and often melt or catch fire when placed by a heat source like a space heater.

man plugging in space heater

Think about it like this – space heaters are designed for wall outlets. No wall outlet, no heater usage.

Keep Kids and Pets Away

If you have young children in your home, ensure they stay away from space heaters at all times — even when they’re turned off! Children’s curiosity often gets the best of them when they see something new and interesting, like a space heater. It’s tempting for them to touch the heater, which can cause severe burns.

woman warming her hands and feet with a space heater

It’s a good idea to teach your children about the dangers of space heaters while you supervise their play activities so you can keep them safe from harm.

Equally, don’t leave pets alone in a room with a running space heater. Make sure that doors are always closed when no one else is in the room with them. This will help prevent accidental burns and injuries to your beloved pets.

Never Put it Near Liquids

Never place your space heater near water or in rooms like bathrooms or kitchens.

Water and electricity don’t mix. Even potted plants and glasses of water can get accidentally knocked over. And if something were spilled into the unit, it could catch fire and cause extensive damage to your home’s structure or contents.

Get in touch with the experts at HELP for all your heating needs this winter.

 

 

Posted in: Heating

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