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Electric Heaters

JULY 08, 2007

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is participating in voluntary standard activities for portable and fixed-position electric heaters. CPSC staff is currently working with Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) Standards Technical Panel 1042, Electric Heaters, to address fires associated with electric heaters.

The CPSC staff estimates that during 1999-2002, the latest years for which data are available, there were an estimated annual average of 4,400 electric heater fires resulting in 90 deaths, 290 injuries and approximately $118 million in property loss.

In 2002, CPSC staff reported on tests conducted to determine the operating characteristics of fixed-position electric heaters under normal and abnormal conditions. The data from those tests could be used in standards development to help reduce the risk of ignition caused by electric heaters and help prevent fires in the future.

In 2005, CPSC engineering staff reported on tests mapping the radiant flux emitted from radiant electric heaters. The data showed a variation in maximum flux among the heaters tested. The report included a comparison of the emitted flux to the critical flux required to ignite common combustibles.

Additional Information

Press Releases:

  • What You Should Know About Space Heaters (under revision)

Fact Sheets

Incident Data

Voluntary Standard and Code Activities:

  • Correspondence to Underwriters Laboratories May 11, 2004. CPSC staff comments regarding proposed requirements for the fourth Edition of UL 1024 (Reference: UL Bulletin dated December 24, 2002).
  • Correspondence to Underwriters Laboratories June 24, 2002. CPSC staff comments regarding proposed requirements for the second Edition of UL 2021 (Reference: UL Bulletin dated June 3, 2002).
  • Correspondence to Underwriters Laboratories February 25, 2004. CPSC staff proposal regarding radiant flux test methods for the second Edition of UL 2021.

CPSC Staff Reports, Memoranda and Contracts

Contact Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

- For further information concerning UL 1042, Standard for Electric Baseboard Heating Equipment, UL 1278Standard for Movable and Wall- or Ceiling-Hung Electric Room Heaters, or UL 2021 Fixed and Location-Dedicated Electric Room Heaters, please contact Joe Musso at

Contact CPSC

Report an unsafe product