Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of Space Heater Safety:


Do: Make sure the heater is approved to use. 

  • They should be approved with a nationally recognized testing laboratory mark (common ones include Underwriters Laboratories or FM Global Technologies)
  • It must not take more than 1,500 watts to operate
  • It should have tip-over protection, so it will automatically shut off if it falls over and overheat protection, which will automatically shut the unit off.


Don’t: Plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as your heater. 

  • Heaters draw a lot of power so you cannot plug one into a surge protector, multi-outlet box or extension cord. The high current flow can cause components to deteriorate and excessive heating can cause fire.
  • Do not operate an electric heater with a damaged cord or plug.


Don’t: Place heaters on filing cabinets, tables or desks. 

  • Heaters should only be located on the floor to avoid being knocked over.
  • You need a 3 foot clearance from combustibles such as paper, garbage, recycling containers, furniture, clothing, or anything else that can burn.


Do: Inspect your heater frequently. 

  • If the heater plug, cord or wall outlet or face plate is hot, discontinue use right away.
  • The heater must be turned off any time the room or area being heated is unoccupied.


Watch this Space Heater Safety Demo video from the Electrical Safety Foundation


Questions? Contact our safety guy, Neel Horst, at [email protected] or 717-761-4600 ext. 3038


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