STAY WARM AND SAFE THIS WINTER WITH THESE PORTABLE
HEATER SAFETY TIPS
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 26, 2015) — Temperatures are dropping around the U.S., which means
many Americans will rely on warmth from portable electric heaters. These portable heat sources are a
great way to keep warm through colder months, as long as they are properly used.
According to data released in November 2013 by the National Fire Protection Association, from 2007-
2011 there were more than 3,300 fires as a result of portable space heaters. “Most fires are preventable
by following the simple and important safety tips offered by AHAM, such giving portable heaters at least
three feet of space on all sides,” offered Lt. Anthony Mancuso, Director of the FDNY’s Fire Safety
Education Unit. Portable electric heaters should be used according to the manufacturers’ instructions so
that injuries can be avoided.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) urges consumers to follow these simple and
important safety tips when using portable electric heaters:
1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using your portable electric
2. Do not leave an operating heater unattended and always unplug heater when not in use.
3. Do not use your heater with a power strip or extension cord. Overheating of a power strip or
extension cord could result in a fire.
4. String out cords on top of area rugs or carpeting. Placing anything, including furniture, on top of
the cord may damage it.
5. Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains at
least three feet from the front of the heater and away from the sides and rear. Do not block
heater’s air intake or outlet.
6. Keep flammable materials, such as paint, gas cans and matches, away from the heater.
Contact: Jill Notini
t 202.872.5955 x318
Portable Heater Safety | December 7, 2011
7. Unless the heater is designed for outdoor use or in bathrooms, do not use in damp or wet areas.
Parts in the heater may be damaged by moisture.
8. Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug does not fit snugly into the outlet or if
the plug becomes very hot, the outlet may need to be replaced. Check with a qualified
electrician to replace the outlet.
9. Unplug the heater when not in use by pulling the plug straight out from the outlet. Inspect the
heater’s cord periodically. Do not use a heater with a damaged cord.
10. Do not plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as your heater. This could result in
11. Heaters should be kept away from children and not be placed in a child’s room without
12. Place heater on a level, flat surface. Only use heater on table tops when specified by the
manufacturer. Do not place your heater on furniture. It could fall, dislodging or breaking parts
in the heater.
These tips, and a safety podcast with Lt. Mancuso, are available on the heatersafety.org web site. Also,
you may order AHAM’s free “Stay Safe! Top Tips for using your Electric Heater Safely!” brochure in
English and Spanish online at www.heatersafety.org. Find more safety tips from the New York City Fire
Department at www.fdnysmart.org/.
Stay warm, be smart and stay safe while enjoying your portable electric heater!
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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is the trade association representing manufacturers of major,
portable and floor care home appliances and suppliers to the industry. AHAM is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and
maintains an office in Ottawa. AHAM is the single voice providing the home appliance industry and its customers leadership,
advocacy and a forum for action — developing and implementing credible solutions for public policy, standards and business
decisions. You can visit the AHAM web sites at http://www.aham.org