Space Heater Safety – Staying Warm in the Winter

Space Heater Safety Statistics

During the winter months, homes and businesses can feel chilly, even with the heat running. Depending on your cold tolerance, you may use a space heater in a particular room of your home or near your desk at work. Although this added heat source seems like the perfect way to keep you feeling comfy-cozy year-round, it’s important to know the risks involved and about space heater safety. 

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a report in December 2022 titled Home Heating Fires. This study found that an average of over 44,000 house fires are caused by heating equipment yearly, resulting in 480 fatalities and over 1,300 injuries. Space heaters cause a shocking 88% of home heating fire deaths. Less surprising is that nearly half of home heating fires occur during December, January, and February. Understanding space heater safety will keep you, your family, and your coworkers safe. 

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Space Heater Safety Features to Know Before You Buy

It’s essential to check the space heater you plan to purchase beforehand to ensure it has undergone adequate safety testing in a laboratory setting. The space heater should be clearly labeled with a safety certification label. The space heater should have a thermostat to display temperature settings and overheat protection, which will automatically shut the space heater off if the heater’s internal components get too hot. Finally, ensure the space heater you choose has an automatic shut-off function in case the heater falls over during use. 

Space Heater Safety: Choose the Right Location

It may be tempting to place a small space heater directly on top of your desk at work or on a nearby table in your workshop, for example, but to use a space heater safely, it must remain on the floor at all times. Space heaters should be placed on a solid, stable surface at least three feet away from anything flammable, including couches, curtains, papers, and even people. Resist the urge to warm your feet by placing them directly on a space heater!

6 Additional Space Heater Safety Tips

  1. Place space heaters in low-traffic areas of the room. The last thing you want is for someone to trip over the space heater, burn themselves, or knock it over.
  1. Never place a space heater in front of an exit. In an emergency, people will need easy access to the exit. 
  1. Never leave a child or pet unattended while a space heater is in use. If the child is old enough, teach them never to touch the heater and more space heater safety tips. Consider placing a gated barrier around the space heater. 
  1. Do not use an extension cord while operating a space heater. Always plug the space heater directly into the wall outlet.
  1. When you leave a room or go to sleep, turn the space heater off and unplug it. If you use a space heater in an office space, make turning off the heater and unplugging it a part of your routine at the end of each day. 
  1. In case of an emergency, always have a working smoke detector and a fire extinguisher nearby.
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Contact Safe-T Fire Protection For More Information

If you have additional questions about space heater safety or any other fire safety-related questions, contact our knowledgeable team at Safe-T Fire Protection. If you own a commercial property and need a fire sprinkler system, fire alarms, or emergency lighting, we can help. 

Whether you’re a homeowner with a single portable space heater, or a large company allowing dozens of employees to use space heaters during the winter months, our goal is to keep you safe. Contact us today!

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