8 Critical Tips To Safely Using Space Heaters

It’s about to be that time of year when the weather becomes so chilly that you’ll need to turn on your favorite space heater. Space heaters are fantastic since they give instant warmth and are quite inexpensive. However, using them wrong might end in a house fire, so it’s critical to be aware of space heater safety precautions.

According to New York City Fire Commissioner Dan Nigro, an apartment complex in the Bronx, New York, caught fire due to a defective electric space heater, resulting in more than a dozen deaths.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are over 1,700 fires caused by space heaters each year, resulting in approximately 80 deaths and 160 injuries.

To prevent fires at home, it’s obvious that knowing how to operate a space heater correctly is critical. Here are some suggestions for keeping your space heater safe and toasty.


When the space heater is turned on, keep flammable and combustible materials at least three feet away. This includes blankets, toys, and dog beds, as well as drapes, bedding, and upholstered furniture… anything that may easily catch fire if left unattended.

Direct Into Wall

It may be plugged straight into the wall. Space heaters “are little, but they use a lot of power,” according to Jamie Novak, a fire inspector with the St. Paul Fire Department in Minnesota.

Some extension cables and power strips aren’t designed to carry that much power, which might result in a fire. As a result, it’s recommended to keep them connected into a wall outlet.

Always Turn It Off

When you leave the room, remember to turn it off. An unattended space heater left on for too long might cause an electrical fire in your house, so make sure to switch it off if you’re going to leave it unattended or if you’re going to sleep.

Automatic Timer

Purchase a space heater with an automatic timer to lessen the chance of a fire. This way, you’ll know it’ll shut off after a few hours or when it becomes too hot. The CPSC advises that there is still a risk of fire with these heaters, although it is less than with a space heater that does not have a timer.


A safety certification mark will appear on a qualified heater. Check the recall listings at or to be sure your space heater hasn’t been recalled.

Stop using the space heater if the plug or cable, wall outlet, or faceplate is hot. If the cord is hot, call an electrician to inspect the plug or malfunctioning wall outlet, or a repair person.

Level Surface

Place the heater on a level, solid surface that will not tip over. This will help to ensure that the heat is distributed evenly. If the surface is not level, the heat may become concentrated in one area, which could cause a fire. Never run the heater’s cable through flooring or rugs.

Never Leave Unattended

Overheating may also be a problem with space heaters. Space heaters should not be left unattended near newborns or others with limited physical, sensory, or mental skills, according to the CSPC.

Never leave a space heater unattended, and make sure it’s in a well-ventilated area. Keep children and pets away from the space heater, and don’t cover it with anything that could catch on fire.