JANUARY WEEK 2
HEATING SAFETY: SPACE HEATERS
Heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the
months of December, January, and February. Some simple steps can prevent most heating-related fires from happening.
· Have a 3-foot (1 meter) “kid-free
zone” around open fires and space
· All heaters need space. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from heating
· Never use your oven or stove for heating. Ovens and stoves are not designed to heat your home.
Portable Electric Space Heaters
· Turn heaters off when you go to bed or
leave the room.
· Purchase and use only portable space heaters listed by a qualified testing
· Purchase and use space heaters that
have an automatic shut off – if they tip
over, they shut off.
· Place space heaters on a solid, flat
surface and keep them and their electrical
cords away from things
· that can burn, high traffic areas, and
· Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.
· Do not plug anything else into the same circuit as the one you are using for your space heater. Doing so could result in overheating.
· Check often for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug does not fit snugly into the wall outlet or if the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. Have a qualified electrician replace the wall outlet.
· Inspect for cracked or damaged cords, broken plugs, or loose connections. Replace them before using
the space heater.
Fuel-Burning Space Heaters
· Always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
· When refueling, allow the appliance to cool first and then refuel outside.
· When using the space heater, open a window to ensure proper ventilation.
· Portable kerosene heaters are illegal in some communities. Check with your local fire department before using.
· Use the proper grade of fuel in portable kerosene or other liquid- fueled space heaters.
· All new non-vented gas-fired space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor that detects a reduced level of
oxygen in the area where the heater is operating and shuts off the heater before a hazardous level of carbon
monoxide accumulates. If you have an older heater without this feature, replace it with one that does.
· If the pilot light of your gas heater goes out, allow 5 minutes or more for the gas to go away before trying
to relight the pilot. Follow manufacturer’s instructions when relighting the pilot. Do not allow gas to
accumulate, and light the match before you turn on the gas to the pilot to avoid risk of flashback.
· If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave the building immediately and call 9-1-1 and the gas company.