Space Heaters

When used properly, space heaters can be a desirable supplement to your home’s heating system. However, extreme care should be taken when using space heaters. Be sure to read the operator’s manual for your space heater to avoid safety hazards and protect yourself and your property from potential fire hazards. Be sure to understand the amount of electricity needed to run your space heater(s) especially if you use more than one in your home. Space heaters can require significant electricity to operate depending on the size of the unit, output and length of use. Space heaters can impact your electric bill significantly.

  • Make sure your home’s wiring can handle the extra load. Consult a licensed electrician.
  • Purchase a heater listed with a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters meet specific safety standards, and manufacturers are required to provide important use and care information.
  • Purchase a heater with a guard around the heating element. A wire grill or other protection is necessary to keep fingers or fabrics from touching the element. Portable electric heaters that circulate oil or water usually have a lower surface temperature and may not need guards.
  • Purchase a heater with an automatic switch that will turn it off if the unit tips over.
  • Before operating a space heater, read and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
  • Never place a rug or carpeting over a space heater’s cord.
  • Do not leave a space heater operating unattended or operating while you sleep. Portable electric heaters are designed for use as supplemental heating.
  • Always keep portable electric heaters away from water and never touch it if you are wet.
  • Do not attempt to use an electric heater to dry clothes or to thaw frozen pipes.
  • Place space heaters only on a stable level surface and at least three feet away from anything flammable such as rugs, drapes, and bedspreads.
  • Regardless of the type of heater you purchase, install and maintain at least one smoke detector in good working condition on each floor of your home.
  • Supervise children and pets around space heaters.
  • Do not operate your heater with an extension cord.