Heating Safety

Heaters regularly cause deaths in the home. Most accidents happen because we sit too close to them or stand them too close to clothing or other items in the room. We also leave them on all night. Electric space heaters are involved in most accidents while gas, solid fuel and LPG gas heaters also carry a high risk.

Follow these simple rules for safe use:

  • Follow manufacturer's instructions on use and care of the product.
  • Make sure all heaters are well clear of furnishings and fixings.
  • Never use aerosol sprays near a space heater.
  • Take care with timing devices ensure that they are tested annually by a qualified electrician.
  • Try to sit at least 1m (3') away from the heat source.
  • Buy heaters from reputable dealers ensure that they have the British Standards' Kitemark or another European approval organisation's mark on it.

Electric Heaters:

  • Plug directly in to the wall socket where possible.
  • Avoid using coiled extension leads unless they are fully unwound.
  • Don't plug in other electrical items in to the extension lead and use them whilst the heater is in use.
  • Ensure all leads and plugs to heaters are in good condition.
  • Ensure leads don't create a trip hazard.
  • Keep your heater clean.

Storage Heaters/Fan Heaters/Convection Heaters:

  • Don't cover air grilles.
  • Keep heaters away from curtains and furniture and fixings by 1m (3').
  • Ensure leads don't create a trip hazard.

Radiant Heaters & Solid Fuel Fires:

  • Always follow instructions for use.
  • Keep your heater clean.
  • Wall mounted fires should be 1m (3') away from furnishings and fixings.
  • Have your chimney swept annually. See our chimney safety page.
  • Use a fireguard, permanently if you have young children.
  • Don't dry laundry by the fire.

Gas Fires:

  • A Gas Safe (formerly CORGI) registered installer should carry out ALL installation and maintenance.
  • Have any Gas fire serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer.
  • Never block or obstruct an air vent. Ventilation is essential.
  • Ensure that your flue is unobstructed and in good condition.
  • DO NOT! turn any electrical switches on or off if you smell gas.
  • When changing gas cylinders, do not open the valve on the new cylinder until it is properly connected.
  • Use a fireguard, permanently if you have young children.
  • Don't dry laundry by the fire.
  • You can find more gas safety information at www.gassaferegister.co.uk.

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