Supplemental heating equipment — such as space heaters — are a leading cause of home fires in Canada from December through February. If you plan on using a space heater for some additional warmth this winter, keep the following safety precautions in mind.
Safety Tips For Space Heaters
- Do not use space heaters to warm bedding, thaw pipes or dry clothing.
- Select space heaters with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) safety mark. The CSA mark signifies that the product was tested for potential safety hazards.
- Purchase units with automatic shut-off features and heating element guards.
- Keep any items that could potentially be a source of fire at least 1 metre away from a space heater.
- Turn off space heaters when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Check for frayed insulation, broken wires and overheating on electrical space heaters. If you notice any of these problems, have the unit serviced immediately.
- Use only fuel recommended by the manufacturer for liquid-fueled space heaters.
- Turn off the heater and let it cool before refueling.
- Avoid using extension cords with space heaters. If you must do so, make sure that the cord is the right gauge size and type for the heater.
Avoid placing space heaters in high-traffic areas of your home. Units with long cords can present a tripping hazard.