portable space heater and electrical cord

Portable Space Heater Safety


Portable electric space heaters provide supplemental heat in our homes and workplaces. Fires due to space heaters usually involve them not having adequate safety features; placing them near combustibles; and not properly plugging them in.

To decrease the risk of fire resulting from the misuse of portable heaters, follow the guidelines below before selecting and using a portable electric space heater.

  • Buy your heater from reputable sources and retail outlets.
  • Ensure the heater has the approval mark of an accredited certification agency (it will be on the label or description).
  • Ensure cords and heaters are in good condition, and not damaged.
  • Do not overload circuits by plugging in too many electrical products into one outlet. 

Placement of portable electric heaters:

  • Place heaters a minimum of 3 feet away from any combustible materials (e.g. curtains, paper, rugs, cloth, etc.).
  • Do not run heater cords under carpets, rugs or furniture.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they can pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, 
  • Turn off the heater when you’re not using it and when you go out.