Portable Electric Space Heaters

The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that space heaters, including both fixed and portable varieties are associated with about 21,800 residential fires every year in the United States.

Approximately 300 people die each year in fires started by there heaters. According to the National Fire Protection Association, supplemental heating equipment, such as electrical ad kerosene heaters, is the leading cause of home fires in the United States during the months of December, January and February.

Safety Tips

  • Space heaters have one function-to provide supplemental heat. Don't use them to warm bedding, cook food, thaw pipes, or dry clothing

  • Choose a space heater that has been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. These heaters meet specific safety standards.

  • Make sure the space heater includes a tip-0ver switch that shuts it off automatically if it accidentally tips over.

  • Read and follow the manufacturer's operating instructions.

  • Combustibles such as curtains, chairs, firewood, and even walls should be at least three (3) feet away from the heater.

  • Avoid using extension cords unless absolutely necessary. If you must use an extension cord with your electric heater, make sure it is marked with a power rating at least as high as that of the heater itself. Keep the cord stretched out. Do not permit the cord to become buried under carpeting or rugs. Do not place anything on top of the cord.

  • Keep children and pets away from space heaters.

  • Turn the space heater off if you leave the area.

  • Never use a space heater overnight in the room where you are sleeping.

  • Use heaters on the floor-never place heaters on furniture.

  • Do not use heaters in wet or moist places, such as bathrooms.

  • Do not place heaters where towels or other objects could fall on the heater and start a fire.

  • We do not recommend liquid fuel powered space heaters.

Be sure that every level of your home has a working smoke detector, and be sure to check it on a monthly basis. Change the batteries in the detectors when you change your clock in the Spring and Fall. Make sure everyone in your family knows at least two routes to escape from bedrooms.

For more information or assistance contact the Little Rock Fire Department Fire Marshal's Office at
(501) 918-3710.