How To: Safely Use a Space Heater

Space heaters can be a great way to add extra heat to a room on those brutally cold days. However, when used inappropriately, they can become a serious fire hazard. Here are a few tips on how to safely use a space heater this winter.

  • Only buy newer models with current safety features and ensure the heater carries the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Buy a space heater with a thermostat. This will ensure the unit turns off when the desired level of warmth is reached and prevent overheating.
  • Don’t buy a heater too large for the room you wish to heat. Most heaters will have a sizing guide to let you know how big of a heater you need.
  • Try to avoid using extension cords. If an extension cord must be used, make sure it is at least 14-gauge wire.
  • Place the heater on a level surface. Keep away from foot traffic, pets and children.
  • Purchase heaters with a tip over safety switch. These models ensure that, if the unit were to tip over, it would automatically turn off.

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