Space heaters can be a convenient way to temporarily heat a room or a small space, but if used improperly, space heaters can cause nasty burns or worse, create a fire hazard.
According to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are associated with an estimated 25,000 residential fires and nearly 300 deaths each year. More than 6,000 people receive ER care for non-lethal burns resulting from contact with the heating elements or hot surfaces of space heaters.
Here are a few tips to use your space heater safely:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing, operating, and maintaining your space heater.
- Keep anything that may be flammable at least three feet away from space heaters.
- Place your space heater on a level, hard, non-flammable surface. Do not ever place on rugs or carpets.
- Avoid using extensions cords, but if absolutely necessary, use a heavy-duty cord of 14-gauge wire or larger.
- Never use your space heater near water because of the possibility of shock or electrocution.
- Always turn off your space heater when leaving the room or going to bed.
energy.gov, Portable Heaters