Use Space Heaters and Electric Blankets Safely

Use Space Heaters and Electric Blankets Safely

In winter many of us use space heaters or electric blankets to lower costs. These are a simple solution for the cold, but must be used properly to prevent fires (Harvard says space heaters case 25,000 home fires a year, and 6,000 emergency room visits). Safe Electricity offers these tips for safely using space heaters and electric blankets. Choose a product with a safety certification. Look for the UL, ETL, or CSA mark on the device which proves the product has been tested as safe for use.  Look for heating element guards on space heaters and automatic tip over or overheat shut offs. Space heaters should be on nonflammable floor surfaces at least 3 feet from flammables and away from high traffic areas. Check that blanket and heater cords are not frayed or cracked and plug directly into outlets (do not use extension cords).