When it comes to fire tragedies involving space heaters, two things are to blame: combustibles, such as bedding, rubbish or furniture situated too close to the heater, and electrical failure due to extension cord overload. Like candles, space heaters should be used with extreme care, but even more so, given the double jeopardy they can create. Keep the following in mind at all times when considering use of a space heater:
Purchase a space heater that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company.
Keep the heater clear of flammable materials such as drapes, furniture, clothing, thick rugs, and more.
Place the heater on a sturdy, level surface where it cannot be accidentally bumped or tipped over.
Never leave a space heater running attended or while you sleep.
Keep electric space heaters away from water. Never use near a sink or in the bathroom.
If you must use an extension cord with a space heater, make sure it is a heavy duty one (usually orange colored), marked with a power rating at least as high as that indicated on the label of the heater, itself.