10 Nov

Space Heater Safety

Space Heaters can be a great way to warm up a small space. They are especially useful if you are looking to keep your heating costs under control. A space heater can save you from turning up your thermostat, when all you really want is some warmth in your office or other small room that you are occupying.

Unfortunately, though, space heaters can be a huge fire hazard when not used properly. A quick Google search for “space heaters” will bring up news story after news story of these handy tools causing devastating fires and even loss of life.

So, what are some good tips for the safe and effective use of space heaters? Read on!

Space Heater Safety Tips

  • Look for the tag U/L listed. U/L is a non-profit safety auditing and testing organization. If a product has a U/L tag on the unit, it is in compliance with current codes and has been tested. Look for these icons:

space heater u/l listing icon

  • Avoid plugging the unit into an extension cord.
  • Keep the unit at least three feet away from any other items around the heater, ESPECIALLY combustibles.
  • Never leave children unattended near a space heater. They get quite hot and can burn little hands quickly. Save your little one from a big owie and save yourself from having to take a trip to urgent care. Make certain that even older children know the rules you set up for safety around the heater.
  • Inspect the heater’s cord occasionally. Make sure that the cord isn’t frayed or its casing cracked.
  • Inspect the plug for a good fit. If you notice the plug getting hot, it may be time for a new unit, or this could be a sign that your home wiring could use an inspection.
  • Place heaters on a flat, level surface.
  • Don’t place the space heater on a table or on furniture. They can be knocked over easily and not only be damaged, but start that fire we all want to avoid.
  • Unless the heater is designed specifically for an outdoor or wet area such as a bathroom, don’t use it in places where it is wet. In other words, your bathroom right next to your shower is a no-no for a space heater.

I’m writing this post sitting next to a space heater that is keeping my toes nice and warm. Space heaters can be such a great way to stay toasty without firing up your whole-house thermostat. A few safety precautions and your space heater will keep you wrapped in warmth for years to come.

Remember – we are only a phone call away. If you have any questions about U/L listings, whether or not your house’s wiring is up to par, or if you think your house may need an inspection, we can help:

Westside (Beaverton, Tigard, Lake Oswego and surrounding areas) 503-643-8833

Eastside (Gresham, West Linn, Troutdale and surrounding areas) 503-252-0030

About Karen Mares

A Portlander born and raised, Karen lives in Southwest Portland with her husband and children. Karen has kept journals throughout her life, and she began her personal blog, Random Thoughts From A Suburban Mom in 2007. She hasn't stopped writing since, channeling her passion for words and information into writing and communicating through social media and blogging.