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The Dangers of Space Heaters

If you've been injured in an accident or on the job, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.

Last Updated: 07-26-2023
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

With temperatures falling and the holiday season just around the corner, many people are dusting off their space heaters to stay warm and cozy during the winter. However, defective space heaters can pose a deadly fire hazard. Unfortunately, even space heaters that are correctly manufactured and fully functioning can be a significant risk.

Photo of spaceheater in room

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) report, “heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States.” Each year, over 65 thousand residential fires are caused by heating equipment. The result? Millions in property damage, thousands of serious injuries, and hundreds of fatalities yearly.

It is extremely important to exercise caution when using these space heaters, as there can be many underlying risks. To help minimize the risks of space heater use, here are some safety tips you can practice in your home.

Space heater safety tips

  • Ensure your space heater is up-to-date and certified with a label from a nationally recognized testing agency like Underwriters Laboratories, Intertek ETL Semko or Canadian Standards Association.
  • Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully.
  • Always inspect your space heater for frayed wires, cracked or broken plugs, and loose connections before using it. If the space heater is worn, damaged, or defective, refrain from using it.
  • Never plug any space heater into a power strip — always use a wall outlet. Extension cords and power strips are not designed to handle the extra energy needed to power a space heater.
  • Do not leave your space heater unattended, especially around children or pets. Before leaving, ensure your space heater is switched off, unplugged, and safely stored away.
  • Allow your space heater to cool before storing it away.
  • Only use space heaters for their intended purpose. Do not use them to heat bedding, clothing, or food.
  • Place your space heater in a non-flammable area, such as a ceramic tile floor. Keep it away from curtains, bedding, rugs, papers, or other things that could easily catch on fire.
  • Always keep your smoke alarm running and functional with regular inspections.

Contact a New York Product Liability Lawyer

Unfortunately, even when following these tips, defective space heaters are sold to thousands of customers every year. Manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their products. If you suffered an injury from a defective space heater, contact an attorney to discuss your rights and legal options. Our experienced New York premises liability attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP will conduct a thorough investigation to obtain justice on your behalf.

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