Fire crews offer safety tips for using space heaters

PRESS RELEASE: With another subzero cold blast about to hit and the very high liquid propane (LP) prices I am sure that other sources of heat will be used to stay warm and pipes from freezing. One of these heat sources maybe a space heater.

Space heaters are responsible for one-third of all home heating fires in the Unites States, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Here are some do’s and don’ts if you use a space heater.


• Make sure the space heater is tested to the latest safety standards and has been certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
• Position your heater so that you can plug the power cord directly into the wall outlet.
• Keep the space heater on a level, hard, nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic floor.
• Keep the space heater at least three feet away from bedding, drapes and other flammable materials.
• Keep children and pets away from space heaters
• Turn the heater off when you leave the area.


• Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep.
• Don’t place a space heater close to any sleeping person.
• Don’t place space heaters in children’s rooms due to the risk or fire or burns.
• Don’t use an extension cord to plug the space heater in. Space heaters draw a lot of electricity and the extension cord may overheat causing a fire.
• Do not leave a space heater unattended or running if you leave the home
• Never use gasoline in a kerosene space heater, as even small amounts of gasoline mixed with kerosene can increase the risk of fire.
• Don’t use portable propane space heaters indoors or in any confined space unless they are specifically designed for indoor use.

Please check you smoke alarms. Make sure that your batteries in all alarms are fresh and working! Smoke alarms need to be on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas and inside each bedroom.

Given the amount of snow that we have and the blowing – drifting taking place, please check and clear outside vents for furnaces and other appliances to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Guard against CO poisoning as well by installing CO alarms in your home.

Stay warm and please be safe!

Chief Steve Schreiber
Black River Falls Fire Department