Contact: Jill Notini
Advice for Safe Use of Space Heaters
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Jan. 10, 2022) – Millions of people rely on portable electric heaters to supplement their heating systems and maintain a comfortable temperature in their homes throughout the winter months. While the vast majority of portable electric heaters are used without incident, any heat source can pose a fire risk if used improperly.
The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) urges consumers to read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels before using your portable electric heater and follow these safety tips:
1. Purchase a heater that is safety certified, meaning it has been tested by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. Look for a safety certification mark on the packaging or the heater.
2. Never leave a heater unattended when it is being used and always unplug heaters when they are not being used.
3. Do not use a heater with a power strip or extension cord. Overheating of a power strip or extension cord could result in a fire.
4. Avoid placing anything on top of the cord, including furniture, as it could damage the cord. String cords out on top of area rugs and carpeting.
5. Never use a heater with a damaged cord.
6. Keep combustible materials, including furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes and curtains, at least three feet away from the front, sides and rear of the heater.
7. Keep flammable materials, such as gas and paint, away from the heater.
8. Do not use heaters in wet or damp areas unless they are designed for bathrooms or outdoor use. Moisture may damage heaters not designed for this.
9. Periodically check the plug and outlet for a secure fit. The outlet may need to be replaced if the plug does not fit snugly or if the plug becomes very hot. Consult with a qualified electrician to replace the outlet.
10. Do not plug any other electrical device into the same outlet as the heater. It could result in overheating.
11. Keep children away from heaters and do not place one unattended in a child’s room.
12. Place the heater on a flat, level surface. Only use the 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.
13. To reduce the risk of hyperthermia, which can be fatal, do not leave space heaters operating unattended in a confined space around infants or individuals with reduced sensory or mental capacities.
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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 AHAM’s web site at http://www.aham.org or follow us on Twitter @AHAM_Voice and @AHAM_Policy.