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Bloomington Briefing

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Fire Prevention Division


Space heater safety guide

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published December 1, 2021
Updated on December 1, 2021

Ready or not, cold temperatures are on the way. The Bloomington Fire Department urges residents to remember that space heaters need space. 

Safety is a top concern when using space heaters. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are the cause of more than 25,000 residential fires every year. An estimated 6,000 people receive hospital emergency room care for burn injuries associated with contacting the hot surfaces of space heaters, mostly in non-fire situations.

Keep warm and cozy without the hazard, when you follow these tips:

  • Place space heaters on low, flat surfaces. 
  • Keep space heaters at least three feet away from flammable items and objects, such as papers or curtains. 
  • Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
  • Keep children away from the space heater. 
  • Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.  
  • Avoid leaving a space heater unattended, especially for long periods of time. 
  • Never use a space heater to dry clothing.
  • Unplug space heaters when not in use.

In addition, the department urges you to keep smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors up to date. For questions or concerns, contact the BFD at 952-563-4801.