5 Heater Safety Tips During Cold Weather

Space heaters can bring warmth during cold weather but can start fires if you're not careful. In fact, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) states that space heaters account for 43% of home fires and 85% of home heating fire deaths. 

To help you enjoy the warmth without putting your family at risk, this post features the top heater safety tips.

Top 5 Heater Safety Tips

During cold months, we may need heaters to keep us warm. However, they can lead to electric fires that can endanger our lives and burn down our houses. Here are some heater safety tips to keep everyone safe: 

1. Keep your space heater at least three feet away from flammable items.

keep your space heater at least three feet away from flammable items

The most common cause of heater fires is putting them too close to flammable items like paper, curtains, and wood. A space heater is a heat source, so putting it near fire hazards compromises your home's fire safety. 

You should also place it on a flat, stable surface away from high-traffic areas so it doesn't tip over. 

2. Keep it away from your children and pets.

keep it away from your children and pets

Children and pets are naturally curious, so you should keep your space heater out of their reach. 

In addition, a space heater can accidentally burn your children and pets. They can also accidentally trip it and burn nearby objects. If you have cats, place your heater somewhere they can't get to. You can also put a barrier around the heater (while keeping it ventilated) to keep your cats away. 

3. Choose a heater with a safety certification. 

choose a heater with a safety certification

Heaters with safety certifications are your best bet. Just make sure you choose one with a certificate from a respected independent testing organization.

You should also go for heaters with safety features like one that automatically turns off when it trips or starts to overheat.

4. Don't use extension cords.

don't use extension cords

Aside from flammable objects, using extension cords puts your heater at risk. 

You see, extension cords can overheat and start a fire. So, play it safe and plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet. 

If you directly plug your heater into the wall, you know it's rated for the outlet. An extension cord might cause fire if it can't handle the power the heater needs. 

5. Never leave your heater unattended.

never leave your heater unattended

You might want the heat going during cold weather, but with space heaters, it's a huge risk. 

If you can't pay attention to your heater (e.g., when sleeping or leaving), turn it off. 

While it sounds inconvenient, you must treat your heater like a candle― you can't keep it burning when you sleep or leave the room. 


Staying warm through the winter is crucial for comfort. For many people, space heaters are the key. However, space heaters can start fires.

Take the precautions above to stay as safe as possible. While you're at it, make sure you have a fire safety kit at home. Assembling a fire kit with an emergency fire blanket, fire spray, fire protection gloves, and smoke mask helps. Go to Prepared Hero and shop for fire safety tools now!