- Space Heater Fire Safety - One page education flyer on space heater safety
- Keep Warm, Keep Safe Campaign - Heating Safety Tips & Tools
- DPH Home Heating Flyer - English
- DPH Home Heating Flyer - Spanish
- Keeping Your Community Safe and Warm - NFPA's Educational Tool Kit on Heating Safely
- NFPA Home Heating Safety Tips
- Home Safety Council Provides Home Heating Safety Tips
Space Heater Fires between 2007 and 2011
Sixty-three (63) heater fires were reported to the Office of the State Fire Marshal between 2007 and 2011. While these fires are not frequent, they are deadly. One of every 11 space heater fires causes a fatality. These fires caused six civilian deaths, 12 civilian injuries, 16 fire service injuries, and an estimated dollar loss of $3.9 million. The average dollar loss for a space heater fire is $61,169. Twenty-two percent (22%) of these fires were caused when combustible materials such as bedding, magazines, newspapers, clothing or furniture were too close to the heater, and another 5% were caused when rugs, carpets or mats were under or too close to the heater.
If you must use a space heater, use it as safely as possible!
On March 18, 2011, the Ware Fire Department was called to a heating fire in a 13-unit apartment building. The fire was caused by combustibles and bedding being placed too close to a space heater in a third floor apartment's living room.
- When buying a heater, look for one that has been tested and labeled by a nationally recognized testing company, such as Underwriter’s Laboratories Inc. (UL).
- Keep the heater three feet away from drapes, furniture or other flammable materials.
- Place the heater on a level surface away from areas where someone might bump into it and knock it over.
- Avoid using extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, make sure it is a heavy duty cord marked with a power rating at least as high as that on the label of the heater itself.
- Never leave a space heater unattended or running while you sleep.
- Supervise children and pets when a space heater is in use.
- Keep electric heaters away from water. Never use them near a sink or in the bathroom.
- The sale and use of unvented kerosene heaters is illegal in Massachusetts.