Space Heater Safety Tips:

Home Inspector with Kollias Property Inspections, Inc.

With the winter upon us consumers are looking for additional ways of keeping warm. Please follow these simple suggestions for added safety when using space heaters.

  • Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep the heater at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away from space heaters.
  • To prevent the risk of fire, NEVER leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place a space heater close to any sleeping person. Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.
  • Use a space heater that has been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally-recognized testing laboratory. These heaters will have the most up-to-date safety features; older space heaters may not meet the newer safety standards. An unvented gas space heater that meets current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
  • Make sure your heater is correctly rated for your home. An oversized heater could deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be produced. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch and keep doors open to the rest of the house to ensure proper ventilation. This helps prevent pollutant build-up and promotes proper combustion.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.
  • Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.
  • Do not use a kitchen range or oven to heat your house because it could overheat or generate excessive carbon monoxide.
  • Be aware that manufactured homes require specially-designed heating equipment.
  • Do not use unvented gas space heaters where prohibited by local codes.
  • Have a smoke alarm with fresh batteries on each level of the house, inside every bedroom, and outside the bedrooms in each sleeping area. In addition, have a carbon monoxide alarm outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area.



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Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Top Producing / Full Service REALTOR in Marylan

Tom, this is a good time of year to create caution about space heaters since they have a history of being a fire hazhard.

Dec 11, 2009 07:40 AM #1
Julie Booth
Fidelity National Title - Federal Way, WA
Keeping the parties informed of the escrow process

Great tips Tom, especially now that we are dipping in the single digits around these parts and breaking the coldest temperature records now for 3 straight days in a row.

Dec 11, 2009 07:43 AM #2
Eddie Matthew
Zenith Realty - Perry Hall, MD


Thank you for some very good information.  The carbon monoxide threats are especially concerning.

Dec 11, 2009 07:44 AM #3
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