Keep fire safe with portable heaters as although they are a good way to heat small spaces they can be a serious fire hazard if not used carefully
There are many reasons fires start, but fires involving heaters have a high fatality rate mostly due because of the circumstances that they start in:
- Fires typically start when bedding, blankets or clothes are placed too close to heaters.
- People with mobility issues are especially at risk of tripping or falling onto a heater – placing them at a safe distance is all the more important.
- Some kinds of heater also present a carbon monoxide risk which can be fatal. It can make you drowsy and less able to escape. That's why it's so important to always fit a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with solid fuel, gas or paraffin heaters.
You should always:
- use your heater on a flat surface
- give it some space - keep it at least one metre away from anything flammable
- buy heaters brand new from a trustworthy retailer, and if possible, buy one with a trip switch (this means it will switch off if knocked over).
- register the heater when you purchase it, so you’ll be made aware of any product recalls or safety information that might get released down the line.
You should never:
- use any heaters that are faulty, or have broken or damaged wiring
- use your heater to dry your washing
- cover your heater (like we said, it needs some space).
Want to know more?
For guidance on portable heaters, gas fires and open fires please read information provided by the London Fire Brigade here