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Posted on: January 3, 2020

Space Heater Safety

Space Heater Safety

The National Fire Protection Association reports that heating equipment, such as space heaters, is the second-leading cause of home fires in the U.S. Portable space heaters have become a popular way to supplement central heating. More than half (53%) of all home heating fire deaths resulted from fires that began when heating equipment was too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding.

If you plan to use portable electric heaters, make sure to follow these tips and recommendations provided by NFPA:

  • Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.  
  • Keep the heater in a “kid-free zone”, at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.  
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.  
  • Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit.
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.  
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.  

For more portable heater safety information, visit National Fire Protection Association at or contact Carbondale Fire Department Administration at 618-457-3234.

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