How Do Space Heaters Cause Fires – Safety Measures You Need To Follow

Last Updated on December 6, 2022 by Vernon Scott

How Do Space Heaters Cause Fires

One of the unique properties of domestic fires is the time of occurrence. Fire outbreaks from space heaters are independent of time when they get very hot. Apart from space heaters, you should monitor the central heating system’s operations. It’s not enough to rely on built-in heat protection switches. With efficient designs and some safety measures, heating units get cool with ease and prevent accidents.

Why Should Buyers Plug Directly?

Plugging your electric heater’s cord into the outlet reduces the risk of fire. Also, an electric extension cord with poor quality can bring down a house in flames. Insist on quality electrical wires, boxes, and appliances. 

The electrical circuit should have the right power capacity for your space heater. You don’t want to destroy an expensive infrared space heater with electricity. So, save the risk of using sub-standard extension cords. They might cause electrical shocks, overheating, and fires. Additionally, it’s better to plug your space heaters to its proper outlet without an extension.

Can Dust Lead To Fires?

While oil radiators don’t need regular replacement of oil, they require inspections. Usually, periodic maintenance like cleaning the fan can help to improve the lifespan. Also, this process promotes the safe operation of space heaters. Without cleaning the dusty fan blades, a new heater can become defective.

However, it could take months of operations to reach this condition. When you run defective heaters, it can malfunction and cause a fire. If a room heating appliance is bad, it’s proper to call a technician. In extreme cases, a replacement heater makes more sense.

Steps To Ensure Safety

The circuits and sensors might fail and cause a fire. Even small children can have their fingers burnt when people run heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fires from heaters often get to about 45% annually.

Don’t keep space heating systems too close to the walls of your room. Usually, great brands have models of heaters with a comfortable grip. It allows the appliance to be adjusted when it’s near flammable materials.

  • Apart from walls; remember that curtain, clothes, bedding, and mattresses are flammable.
  • Don’t run the space heater unattended all the night.
  • Avoid extension cords.
  • Clean the dirty channels of your home’s chimney to boost air quality
  • Have a child-safe and zone around space heaters
  • Don’t tilt the heating unit. Instead, place them flat, and solid surfaces
  • A three-feet space behind the heater isn’t a bad idea
  • Insist on quality electrical fixtures and installation. Avoid broken and malfunctioning heaters
  • Check for built-in automatic shut-off before buying electric heaters
  • Don’t overload circuits, and use grounded outlets

How Are Heaters With Control Switches Useful?

  • With thermostats, it’s easy to control high temperatures. Space heaters can cut-off power and prevent home fires. Before going to sleep, you can adjust the timer and thermostat settings of electric space heaters. The timer restricts any heating appliance from running after the set time. Users can determine the set time, and this mode is helpful at bedtime. 
  • Ensure that your home has a functional smoke detector system and lightning arrestors. Control switches, functional installations help to reduce the impacts of an electrical fire. Arrestors offer protection from electrical surges and can prevent the fires too. While using these installations, obey safety standards by using heaters with adjustable thermostats.
  • Great heating products with high safety ratings are often certified by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), Underwriters Laboratory (UL), and Intertek (ETL). 
  • Apart from buying heaters with control switches, use them as recommended by the manufacturer. Read the instruction manual on how thermostats, heating elements, and control switches work.

Spreading Wet Clothes On Heaters

It’s not ideal to use space heaters to dry clothes. After using the laundry room, keeping fabrics on the heater to dry is a fire hazard. Most times, hanging a piece of fabric on the electric heater blocks the flow of hot air through vents. When the fabric gets charged, it might be the start of a disaster. Consequently, a hot unit might trigger overheating and fire outbreak.


In safety management, fire prevention is an important topic. Electric heaters have more safety features than gas space heaters. The latter can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and fire outbreaks. Regardless of your brand of room heater, don’t create an opportunity for fires.  Avoid using electric space heaters in bathrooms because of electrocution.

I am a Trained HVAC Technician and Author of EmiNick. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. I have been involved in all aspects of HVAC, from design and installation to repair and maintenance. I am also a certified energy auditor and have experience in conducting energy audits for both residential and commercial customers. In addition to my HVAC experience, I am also a certified home inspector and have conducted many home inspections for both buyers and sellers. Follow Me: Linkedin

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.