Space heaters carry a much greater risk of causing a fire than central heating, such as furnaces. Space heaters present a greater potential for human error such as leaving them too close to combustible materials or failing to install, fuel, operate and maintain them properly. In order to prevent house fires caused by space heaters, you should follow instructions accordingly. Some space heaters have an automatic shutoff when they fall over or get too hot in order to help prevent a fire. If your space heater shuts itself off, you need to inspect it for a potential problem before turning it back on. Some space heaters may release carbon monoxide into the air. Carbon monoxide has no smell and it is therefore impossible to detect a leak without the use of a carbon monoxide detector. If you use space heaters, you should purchase a carbon monoxide detector. Inhaling too much carbon monoxide can be fatal.
"Fire Investigators say the cause of an Albany house fire Tuesday was an electrical extension cord that was spliced into a space heater. Firefighters say the extension cord was spliced into the factory-installedMore >>. Fire Investigators say the cause ..."
Room gas heaters, portable kerosene heaters and portable electric heaters have the highest risk of death and injuries, including non-fire related deaths due to carbon monoxide. The preferred style of space heaters are fully enclosed by design and have no external surfaces that reach temperatures capable of igniting, such as an oil filled radiant heater. Keep the space heater accessible, do not store anything within three feet of the unit. The leading cause of space heater fires was combustibles too close to the heater. The space heater must be plugged directly into an outlet. Do not use a light-duty extension cord or a multi outlet strip/surge protector; it can start a fire with a high-wattage appliance. The unit must be grounded with a three-pronged plug.