Although space heaters are a great way to warm your home during the cold winter months, they can also present serious home fire hazards. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), space heaters are involved in 79 percent of fatal home heating fires.
To ensure that your home is both safe and warm this winter, keep these space heater safety tips in mind:
- Only purchase space heaters that have a mark from a reputable certification agency, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
- Check for safety features when you’re purchasing a heater—such as an automatic shutoff and heating element guards.
- Check your space heater’s cords before you use it to ensure that it doesn’t cause an electrical fire.
- Never use space heaters to warm bedding, or place them near any flammable materials.
- Turn off space heaters whenever you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Pay extra attention to children and pets when they’re around space heaters.
- Don’t place heaters in congested or high-traffic areas of your home. Additionally, make sure that cords don’t present a tripping hazard.