Space Heater Safety

As the temperature starts to drop and people get colder, they often turn to space heaters for some relief. In most communities, kerosene heaters are not allowed, causing people to look for alternative measures. Electric heaters are often used instead, but they too are considered a potential fire hazard.

Whichever type of heater you use, here are some important tips on using them safely:

  • Never add fuel to a portable heater that is turned on or hot; the fuel could explode.
  • Don't run heater cords under carpets, rugs or furniture. The cord could overheat and start a fire.
  • Keep flammable materials - including bedding, clothing, draperies, rugs and furniture - at least 3 feet from space heaters, even if the heater is equipped with automatic cut-off switches or heating guard elements.
  • Never run a space heater when you are asleep or in a room with unattended children or pets.
  • Don't place heaters in high-traffic areas such as doorways or halls, and don't run them if you are not going to be in the room with them.

By following these tips you will ensure a safe environment for you and your family.

Walter E. Ferguson, Director Burn Care...Everywhere Foundation Inc.
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