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Space Heater Safety Tips


When the cold weather emerges, space heaters offer some families direct warmth in areas that may need additional heat.  If not used properly, however, space heaters can cause house fires leading to injury and burns. 

If you will be using a portable space heater, Roberta Davis, injury prevention education coordinator at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, part of the Detroit Medical Center, offers the following safety tips:

  • Do not use portable space heaters if small children are in the area.
  • Do not place heaters under desks or other enclosed areas.
  • Keep heaters three feet away from furniture, bedding or draperies.
  • Heaters must be monitored when in operation.
  • Plug heater directly into a wall receptacle, never plug it into an extension cord.
  • Portable heaters should be monitored daily.
  • Heaters missing guards, control knobs, feet, etc. should not be used and either replaced or repaired.
  • Heaters should be avoided in rooms that are not actively used.
  • Keep doors and windows closed, including storm windows to prevent freeze-ups.
  • Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways and paths of travel.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens.

For information on support for heating costs you can visit the Michigan.Gov website.

The DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan Burn Center is Michigan's only verified pediatric burn center exclusively dedicated to the needs of children. The hospital also developed the Kohl's Injury Prevention Program (KIPP) in an effort to reduce injury risks.  For further information on fire safety and other injury prevention tips visit www.childrensdmc.org/KIPP.



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