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Texas Department of Insurance
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Space heater safety: Tips to prevent fires

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A space heater can be a cost-effective way to stay warm, but it can also be a fire hazard. In the last few years, several fatal fires in Texas were started by space heaters. Here are tips for keeping your family safe.

  1. Inspect immediately

    Always inspect a heater before you use it. Make sure there are no cracked or broken plugs or loose connections. Replace broken parts or the heater itself before use or get a new one.

  2. Not too close

    Most home heating deaths happened because a space heater was too close to furniture, clothing, mattresses, or bedding. Make sure your heater is at least three feet from anything that can burn.

  3. Outlets only

    Always plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Don’t use extension cords or power strips. And don’t run the cord under a rug or carpet.

  4. Kids and pets

    Children and pets can knock over a space heater or get too close and burn themselves. Don’t put space heaters in hallways or other places kids or pets might pass by. And don’t let kids move a heater or adjust the controls.

  5. No liquids nearby

    Never use or store flammable liquids in the same room as a space heater. And because they’re electric, don’t get near a heater when you’re wet.

  6. Turn it off

    Always turn off your space heaters before you leave the room or go to bed. Look for models that shut off automatically when tipped over.

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Last updated: 2/3/2022