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Space heaters are safe if used properly


When cold weather brings a chill to the air, many people utilize electric space heaters to help stay warm.
But space heaters have potential fire and safety hazards that could be dangerous if they are not used properly.
The Las Cruces Fire Department is reminding residents who use space heaters – whether at home or work – to carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions. Other tips for safe use of a space heater include:

  • Select and use a space heater that has been tested and approved by an independent testing laboratory such as UL – Underwriter’s Laboratories.
  • Avoid using damaged or dilapidated space heaters.
  • Fully inspect the device and its power cord prior to each use. Ensure that the space heater is free of dust and properly clean it, according to manufacturer’s directions, prior to its use.
  • The space heater must be plugged directly to a grounded, three-pronged outlet. Space heaters operate at a high wattage. Avoid plugging into an extension cord, multi-outlet, or surge protector.
  • Situate or run the power cord so that it cannot become a trip hazard and do not place power cords above the space heater.
  • Use only space heaters that have thermostatic controls to avoid overheating.
  • Ensure the space heater has an auto-shutoff feature that automatically turns off if it tips or leans.
  • Make sure the space heater is placed in an area with proper ventilation.
  • Do not operate a space heater near combustibles or anywhere near curtains, blankets, clothing or furniture that could become overheated and catch fire.
  • Never operate a space heater near a bathtub, shower or any open water source.
  • Do not leave a space heater on while you sleep or if you leave the room for an extended period.
  • Carefully monitor children and pets so they cannot come in contact with operating space heaters.
space heater safety