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Texas Department of Insurance
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February 10, 2021

Texas state fire marshal urges caution with space heaters

Wintry conditions could lead more Texans to rely on space heaters.

“But be cautious,” said Orlando Hernandez, the state fire marshal. “In the past few years, several fatal Texas fires were started by space heaters.”

Tips for space heater safety include:

  • Inspect a heater before you use it. Make sure there are no cracked or broken plugs or loose connections.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet.
  • Keep your space heater at least three feet from anything that can burn.
  • Turn off your space heaters before you leave the room or go to bed. Look for models that shut off automatically when tipped over.

About 80% of home heating fire deaths in the U.S. involve space heaters, according to the National Fire Protection Association. And nearly half of home heating fires are in January, February, and December.

“Stay safe and warm—and careful,” Hernandez said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is part of the Texas Department of Insurance.


Space heater safety tips to prevent fires

Space heater hazards (video)

Space heater safety (video)

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 1/12/2022