Bedrooms and Sleeping Areas
Keep a Minimum of 3 Feet of Clearance Around Space Heaters
Space heaters are designed to warm a large area, and as a result, the heating elements are operating at a relatively high temperature. Keep a 3 foot area clear of all combustible material around a space heater to allow for air flow to keep the unit cool.
Turn Off Space Heaters When You Leave the Room or go to Bed
Space heaters were designed to be used for temporary heating of an area. They should be turned off and unplugged when you leave a room or go to bed to reduce the risk of a fire when they are unattended.
Do Not Smoke in Bed
Smoking in bed is a dangerous combination. A lit cigarette that is dropped on the floor or in the bed by a drowsy smoker can smolder for a long period. If the cigarette starts bedding or carpeting burning, it too can smolder for a long period of time without any flames showing. The fumes given off during that time can render a person unconscious and unaware of what is going on around them.
Limit the Use of Extension Cords
Extension cords, like space heaters, were only designed for temporary use. If you are using an extension cord in the same place on more than a temporary basis, it indicates a need in that area, and you should contact a qualified electrician about installing additional electrical outlets.
Do Not Cover or Tack/Nail Extension Cords
All electrical cords, extension and appliance cords alike, should never be placed under rugs or tacked to floors or walls. The insulation material on these cords was not designed to take the abrasion and stresses of being covered or tacked. If a safety hazard, such as tripping is a concern with an extension cord, use tape only to secure it.
Inspect Extension and Appliance Cords for Damage
Take the time to get in the habit of inspecting electrical cords for damage. It only takes a brief moment, and you will help protect your home from fire. If you find any cuts, gouges, fraying or if the ends are coming loose, stop using the item immediately and either replace or repair the unit.
Do Not Overload Outlets
Do not attempt to insert more plugs in to an outlet than the number it is designed for, for example, by using a 3-way adapter block. Doing so creates a potentially dangerous overload on the outlet and electrical system. Also, make sure that all outlets and switches are properly covered to protect against shocks and electrical burns.
Information on this page was, in part, collected from the NFPA, USFA, and the CDC