When the weather begins to cool, many people turn to space heaters to add a little extra warmth where it’s needed. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( www.cpsc.gov ) offers these tips for staying safe:
Place the heater on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as a ceramic tile floor), not on rugs or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Keep it at least three feet from bedding, drapes, furniture and other flammable materials. Keep children and pets away.
Never leave a space heater on when you go to sleep or place one close to any sleeping person.
Use only space heaters that have been tested to the latest safety standards and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Unvented gas space heaters that meet current safety standards will shut off if oxygen levels fall too low.
Make sure your heater is correctly rated for your home. An oversized heater could deplete the available oxygen, causing excess carbon monoxide to be produced. Keep a window in the room open at least one inch and keep doors open to the rest of the house to ensure proper ventilation.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to provide sufficient combustion air to prevent carbon monoxide production.
Have gas and kerosene space heaters inspected annually to ensure proper operation.