Guidelines to Safer Space Heater Use
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to promoting electrical safety at home and in the workplace. According to ESFI, heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.
During the cold winter months, many will turn to portable space heaters as a source of supplemental heat in their homes. Unfortunately, if not used with caution, these convenient heaters can pose significant fire hazards.
The ESFI provides the following tips to be considered when using space heaters:
- Make sure the space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing lab.
- Before using, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels.
- Inspect heaters for any damage prior to use.
- Never leave a space heater unattended.
- Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
- Always keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything than can burn.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
- Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
- Place space heaters on flat, level surfaces.
- Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.
Portable space heaters are very convenient and can be a great source of supplemental heat during the winter months. Safety should always be the top priority when using space heaters. Following these tips will help keep your home safe while keeping your toes warm!