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Space Heater Safety

Early this month, 5 children tragically died in a house fire in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times and other local media have reported that a space heater may have sparked the fire.

CPSC staff extends our condolences to the families, friends, and communities affected by the fire.

Sadly, this tragedy is also a reminder to anyone who uses space heaters to keep the following safety dos and don’ts in mind:

Do’s:

  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters have the most up-to-date safety features. Older space heaters may not meet newer safety standards. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper use.
  • Place the heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor.
  • Keep the heater at least three feet away from bedding, drapes, furniture, and other flammable materials.
  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • Turn the heater off if you leave the area.

Don’ts:

  • Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
  • Don’t place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
  • Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
  • Don’t use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.

Also, be sure to place smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and inside each bedroom. Guard against carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings as well by installing carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Make sure that your batteries in all alarms are fresh and working.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/11/space-heater-safety/