House & Home

Space heater safety

Space heater safety

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - As temperatures begin to drop, many of us are starting to bring out our space heaters. 

Home heating fires account for 16% of structure fires in America. 

Space heaters are rated for indoor use and should only be operated according to the owner’s manual, and be UL listed with tip-over shut off protection. Use of space heaters should only be temporary and are unsafe for prolonged periods.

All heat sources require at least 3 feet of clear space around them. Keep children, animals and any combustible materials away from heat sources.  

"We do have issues with combustibles too close to a heating source," Scott Grimmett, Idaho Falls Fire Marshall said. "So we try to keep three feet of clear space between the fireplace and space heater or anything that could catch on fire." 

When using a space heater, it is recommended that only one heater be plugged into a GFI outlet at a time. The heaters should not be used with an extension cord.

These space heaters should be used only while in the presences of the user. 

"Number one the limit fails in them and some of them don't even have limits," Ted Sermon, President of Sermon Service and Electric, said. "Number two the thermostat fails and stays on for a prolonged period of time."

During this winter season, make sure you keep a close eye on your space heater to help you and your home's safety.

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