Like any electrical appliance, personal space heaters need their space.
It’s especially important to locate space heaters pretty far away from anything that could catch on fire. Although the handy appliances come with lots of safety features, it’s up to you to make sure they don’t get close enough to catch something on fire.
Here’s how important that is: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are associated with the use of space heaters, causing more than 300 deaths.
To use a space heater safely, use it wisely. Follow these tips for smart use:
- Stick with space heaters that carry the UL mark. Those models will offer the most current safety features.
- Keep all objects, bedding, people and pets at least 36 inches away from the space heater.
- Replace your space heater if it seems to short out or if its electrical cord is frayed or otherwise damaged.
- Look for safety features like automatic shut-off in case the device tips over.
- Place your heater on the floor, not on a stand or a desk, where it could get knocked over.
- Choose a space heater with a thermostat to avoid overheating the room.
- Oversized heaters waste energy. Buy the correct size heater for the room.