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Space Heaters

space heater
Whether you are using electricity, gas, wood or kerosene, know that space heaters could cause fires or personal injury. In addition, improper ventilation while operating a space heater can cause indoor pollution, or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning.


When purchasing a space heater, look for a model with:

  • An overheat sensor that can turn the heater off when high temperatures are reached.
  • A grille to keep heating elements away from furniture, children and pets.
  • An automatic shutoff switch if the heater is tilted or falls.
    A certification label from a recognized testing laboratory. This should be indicated on the box or on the unit itself. Many laboratories test heaters to meet certain safety standards and provide you with care and use instructions. Examples of certifying organizations are: Underwriters Laboratories (UL} and American Gas Association (AGA).


  • Never use a space heater as your primary heat source. It should be a supplemental provider of heat.
  • Read the manufacturer's instructions before operating your heater. Pay attention to all warnings and safety precautions.
  • Make sure your space heater was made after 1984. Space heaters made after that year have an Oxygen Depletion Sensor or ODS that shut off the heater when there is not enough fresh air and too much carbon monoxide. Look for a label that your space heater has this device.
  • Don't leave the space heater unattended or running when you sleep. Always keep electric space heaters away from water. Electrocutions could happen if the space heater contacts water. Also, don't touch the heater if you are wet.
  • Never let small children or pets near your space heater. Hot surfaces can cause severe burns.
  • Make sure any room you are heating with a fuel-burning heater is ventilated, or carbo monoxide poisoning can result.
  • If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy duty cord, #14 gauge or larger. Never put the heater's cord or the extension cord under a carpet.
  • Make sure all draperies and furniture are away from heaters. Even a heater with a grille can become hot enough to set drapes or furniture ablaze.
  • Never use your space heater to dry clothes or defrost frozen pipes.
    Do not store or use any flammable liquids near your space heater. Vapors can be ignited by the heat or flames of a space heater.
  • Have your space heater inspected by a professional at the beginning of the winter season to make sure it is working properly. If a space heater is not maintained, a build- up of dangerous carbon monoxide gas could result.