Q:

Should a space heater be left unattended?

A:

Quick Answer

A space heater should never be left unattended. The space heater should be turned off and unplugged when the last person leaves the room. If not used properly, space heaters can create a higher risk of electric shock and fire at home or at work.

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Full Answer

Space heater users must keep the unit at least 3 feet away from anything that can catch fire, such as rugs, papers and clothing. The unit should be plugged directly into a wall outlet. An extension cord or power strip used with the heater could overheat and start a fire.

In 2007, space heaters caused 21,800 home fires in which 490 people died, 1,180 were injured and $330 million in property was damaged, according to Electrical Safety Foundation International.

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