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Focus on Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

Release Date: January 14, 2013

Focus on Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

An estimated 900 portable heater fires in homes are reported to U.S. fire departments each year and cause an estimated 70 deaths, 150 injuries and $53 million in property loss.

Only two percent of heating fires in homes involve portable heaters; however, portable heaters are involved in 45 percent of all fatal heating fires in homes!

You can prevent a portable heater fire in your home this winter by following a few fire safety steps:


  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
    • Keep anything that can burn such as bedding, clothing and curtains at least three feet away.
      • Only use portable heaters from a recognized testing laboratory and with an automatic shut-off so that if they tip over, they shut off.
        • Plug portable heaters directly into outlets and never into an extension cord or power strip.

        Learn more about portable heaters and fire safety at