Use Your Space Heater Safely

Many people use space heaters for winter warmth, but they can be dangerous if used improperly.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 25,000 home fires every year are associated with space heaters, and cause over 300 deaths. An additional 6,000 people annually go to the hospital for related burns.

These fires are caused by contact with or nearness to the heating elements, flammable fuels used in the heaters, defective wiring, and carbon monoxide poisoning caused by improper venting or incomplete fuel combustion.

Here are tips for using a space heater safely:

  • Keep it at least 3 feet from flammables, such as curtains, clothing, furniture or bedspreads.
  • Select a model with an automatic shut-off, in case it tips.
  • Buy one that is certified by an independent testing lab, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Buy the right size to handle the area to be heated.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Keep kids and pets at a safe distance.
  • Never leave it unattended, or sleep with it on.
  • Never use or store flammable liquids near it.
  • Do not use in a bathroom—a high-moisture area can cause damage.
  • Keep it away from water to prevent electrocution.
  • Check the cord for fraying and cracks, and do not use an extension cord to run it.
  • Be sure the plug fits snugly in the outlet. (The cord and plug may feel warm when operating, but it shouldn’t feel hot. If it does, unplug it and have a repair person check for problems.)
  • Do not try to repair a broken heater yourself—go to a qualified appliance service center.
By |2014-11-19T15:00:29+00:00November 19th, 2014|Michigan Country Lines, Safety Tips|11 Comments

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  1. Kaley November 19, 2014 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Great reminder – I use a space heater in a couple rooms from time to time.

  2. Shawna November 21, 2014 at 3:27 pm - Reply

    Great post about space heaters, thanks!

  3. Betty Pleva/Marie hamel November 22, 2014 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I’m not a typical blogger. But, for a chance to win $25.00 credit. Heh, I’m willing to learn. Wish me luck! BTW… nice and east navigatalbe web page too.

  4. Anne November 23, 2014 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    As a safety precaution, we also unplug our heater when not in use. We don’t have central heat in our house, so we need a space heater in our bathroom.

  5. Ann November 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Great blog!

  6. Sherri Thomas November 24, 2014 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Great advice! My house could of been in a fire if I had left our heater on when I discovered it was really hot…same with cell phone chargers!

  7. Laura Harman November 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I have been a co-op member of cherryland since 1991 – I must say it has been exciting watching and experiencing all the up-grades and support for the Cherryland electric community. Cherryland Co-op continues to grow and educate members on many energy saving tactics, and I love the mag that comes to my mail box each month – so I can read what is new and current! TThank you Cherryland!

  8. Ann Culp November 28, 2014 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    I like the new format, and tips for safety are always appreciated!

  9. Jennifer November 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    We purchased an Eden electric heater (actually 2). It helps cut down on fire hazards, also nice if the gas furnace goes down over the weekend.

  10. Amanda Carpenter November 30, 2014 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the great advise and new website. Very user friendly.

  11. Eric Lingaur November 30, 2014 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    Very good tips. Especially the stuff for kids.

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