Most people know that space heaters can be dangerous, but we still use them during the winter to stay warm. They are commonly used in older houses that have drafts, basements, garages, and rooms that don’t seem to warm up. 

Sometimes, improper or unsafe use of space heaters can lead to house fires and even, in extreme circumstances, death. However, the use of space heaters has not declined. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the risks and know how to use a space heater in your home safely. 

What Are Space Heaters?

Space heaters are appliances intended to heat small- to medium-sized rooms. Their general purpose is to supplement the primary heating system in a house or building. They provide heat and make rooms comfortable for their occupants. They are often necessary due to inadequate heat output by the main system, expensive central heating, or the inability to accurately control the ambient temperature. 

There are various types, sizes, and shapes of space heaters available. Some run on electricity, while others utilize natural gas or propane fuels. In addition, the method of spreading heat varies with some space heaters using radiation and others convection.

Now that you know what a space heater is, let’s discuss how to use them safely.

Are Space Heaters Safe?

You may read in headlines that space heaters are one of the leading causes of home fires and associated fatalities, which can make you wonder just how safe a space heater is. It’s important to note that in most cases, the issue is not that space heaters are unsafe – but that they are used in an unsafe manner. 


Space heaters can cause fires when placed too close to items that can burn or catch flame. They also use a lot of energy and can easily overload circuits, resulting in a power failure or fire. 


You can easily avoid these issues with the proper use and care. Furthermore, modern space heaters are far safer than older models. They incorporate safety features designed to minimize the risk of fires. 

Space Heater Safety Tips

Follow these space heater safety tips to ensure that your family and your home remain safe:

  • Ensure your unit has a tip-over safety switch that automatically shuts off the heater if it gets knocked over. Remember that taller units are more likely to tip over.
  • Place the heater on a level surface, away from foot traffic, and keep it at least three feet away from walls and any combustible materials (upholstered furniture, mattresses, bedding, clothing, curtains, etc.)
  • Do not use a space heater in rooms where moisture is present, such as bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Always plug a space heater directly into the wall outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips, and do not run the cable under rugs or carpets. 
  • Ensure your space heater has a seal for nationally recognized safety testing, such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or CSA (Canadian Standards Association).

Stay Safe With the Help of Canadian Wire Wizards

If you frequently use a space heater, ensure that you do so as safely as possible. If you have electrical or wiring issues or inconveniences – such as a lack of outlets close to where you want to place the heater – we can help.

Our experienced professionals at Canadian Wire Wizards will make sure that your circuits are equipped to handle your heating needs. We will also install additional electrical outlets if required. Call us today at 416-755-2700 or contact us via our online form to discuss how we can make your home electrically safe and sound.

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