Simple Solutions Blog

Top safety tips when using space heaters

 February 19, 2020     UFG Insurance    Personal  Read Time: 5 min

Do you ever get to work in the winter and feel like someone turned off the heat?

Or maybe one room in your house just won’t get warm so you must summon Super Space Heater (dun nuh nuh NUH), a superhero of a device that knows nothing of fighting crime, because it’s just a space heater.

But, let’s not degrade such a wonderful appliance. It’s a simple solution to a problem. If only other things in life were like space heaters.

Although easy and convenient, space heaters account for 4 out of 5 home-heating fire deaths according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Here are top safety tips when using space heaters in your home or office.

1. Read the instructions

As with most products, you will want to read the instructions before operating your space heater. Make sure you know how it works, how to safely use it and understand any other specifics from the manufacturer before configuring the device. Be sure to follow all factory recommendations listed on the owner’s manual or box. Lastly, make sure you move the owner’s manual and other papers away from the space heater before use.

2. Never leave your space heater unattended

Never, under any circumstances, leave your space heater unattended. If your space heater is on, make sure that you’re nearby at all times. Whether you have to run an errand or talk to a neighbor, turn your space heater off before doing so—just as you would blow out a candle before leaving the house.

Again, when it comes to space heaters and the statistics associated with them, we would all rather be safe than sorry.

Learn more about homeowner’s insurance coverage.

3. Plug directly into wall outlets

It’s a best practice to not use extension cords when operating space heaters. Due to the high wattage of a space heater, they are known to cause house fires when plugged into extension cords. If you find that a circuit breaker trips or a fuse blows when plugging in a space heater, you may want to try another circuit with heavier wire and a larger amp rating. This is one of the most important safety tips when using space heaters.

Best practice: You should never use an extension cord to plug space heaters into a power source.

4. Give space heaters space

This one is pretty self-explanatory. A space heater needs space in order to safely run. Do not place them by furniture, papers, plants or anything at all. For them to safely operate at a desired capacity, they need to be in the open, not under desks or next to household objects.

5. Double check smoke alarms

How long has it been since you tested your smoke alarms?

Regardless of if you’re operating a space heater or not, double checking your smoke alarms is a good idea. Maybe you need to change the batteries or replace the unit as a whole? Make sure you check your smoke alarms before operating a space heater. Again, the theme of this article is better safe than sorry!

Whether at home or in the office, Super Space Heater can help save the (cold) day. Just make sure you follow these tips and take extra precautions to ensure your situation doesn’t turn into Super Space Heater 2: Attack of the House Fire.

Make sure your home or business has proper coverage if an accidental fire occurs. Learn more about our insurance solutions or contact us today.

Disclaimer: Subject to applicable legal requirements, United Fire & Casualty Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (UFG Insurance) are no longer renewing or writing new personal lines coverage for current or potential policyholders in most states. To accommodate obtaining replacement coverage, we have entered into a renewal rights agreement for most of our personal lines business. Read more here



The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.