Straight Talk Articles

Space Heater Safety Tips
January, 2016

Regardless of the kind of space heater you purchase, practice safety: space heaters are involved in more than 80% of fatal home heating fires. When you purchase your heater, check that it is has the following:

  • Tip-over safety switch, which automatically shuts the heater off if it tips over

  • Temperature sensor to detect when any internal components become too hot

  • Guard around heating element to protect curious hands or paws

  • UL-listing or other certification to show that it meets voluntary safety standards


Practice safety, and teach your family what to do:

  • Use the heater only on a flat surface

  • Plug the heater directly into the wall instead of an extension cord and avoid plugging anything else into the same outlet. If you must use an extension cord, use the shortest possible heavy-duty cord

  • Keep the heater away from pets, children, and flammable items like bedding, furniture, and curtains

  • Don’t use in the bathroom unless it is designed for bathroom use; moisture can damage the heater

  • Don’t leave a heater unattended – turn it off for safety and to save money!