7 electric-heater safety tips

By Andrew LuptonAndrew Lupton

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The Consumer Products Safety Commission, a US government agency, estimates that from 2005 to 2007 portable electric heaters were involved in about 1,100 fires each year. Some safety tips:

  • Choose a heater that shuts off automatically in the event you—or your terrier—topples it over in the night.
  • Keep the heater on a flat, level surface and at least one metre away from anything that can burn, including curtains, furniture, and bedding.
  • Don’t use space heaters on the same circuit as other high-wattage appliances, such as microwaves or toasters.
  • Check the unit regularly for excessive heat or frayed cords.
  • Don’t use indoor space heaters outside or in wet areas, such as the bathroom.
  • Keep pets and young children away from the unit, and be sure to turn off and unplug the heater when you’re not at the cottage.
  • Heaters sold at most retailers in Canada are CSA-approved but be sure to look for the CSA symbol (or a similar certification) on the box.

For more information, read Fireplace Spot’s guide to electric heater safety.

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