Safety Tips for Space Heaters

As the cooler months set in, many Australian households turn to space heaters to keep warm. While these devices offer a convenient and effective solution for heating, it’s crucial to use them safely to prevent accidents and fires.

Understanding the potential risks and following essential safety tips can help ensure that your home remains a cosy and safe haven. In this article, we’ll explore the best practices for selecting, placing, and maintaining your space heater, along with vital usage guidelines to keep your family protected.

Choosing the Right Space Heater

When selecting a space heater for your home, it’s important to consider the different types available. Convection heaters are ideal for heating a whole room, while radiant heaters provide immediate warmth to a specific area. Ceramic heaters, fan heaters and oil-filled heaters are other options, offering consistent temperature and energy-efficient heating.

Energy efficiency should also be a priority. Look for heaters with an adjustable thermostat and energy-saving modes, such as auto shut-off features that turn the system off on a timer, to help reduce electricity consumption. These features can make a significant difference in your energy bills over the winter months.

Safety certifications are crucial when choosing a space heater, regardless of whether it is a fan heater or ceramic heater. Ensure that the heater meets Australian Electrical Safety Standards and has been tested by recognised safety organisations.

Look for features like overheat protection and tip-over protection, which can prevent accidents and enhance the safety of your heater.


Proper Placement of Your Space Heater

When using a space heater, its placement is crucial not only for efficiency but also for safety. Here are some key tips to ensure you position your space heater properly:

  • Keep it away from flammables: Position your space heater at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as curtains, bedding, clothing, and furniture. This distance helps prevent accidental fires.
  • Stable surface: Always place your space heater on a hard, flat surface. Avoid carpets or rugs which could catch fire if the heater malfunctions. This also minimises the risk of the heater tipping over.
  • Avoid enclosed areas: Do not place space heaters in tightly enclosed spaces. Good ventilation helps prevent overheating and reduces the risk of carbon monoxide buildup if it’s a gas heater.
  • Keep it out of traffic: Position the heater in a location where it is not likely to be knocked over by pets, children, or everyday activities. Avoid placing it in busy walkways or near doorways.
  • Away from water: Never use a space heater in a bathroom or near any source of water. Electrical devices can become hazards if they come into contact with water.

Following these guidelines will help ensure that your space heater is used safely and effectively, keeping you warm without risking safety.

Electric Safety

To ensure the safe operation of your electric space heaters, it’s vital to avoid overloading power outlets. Plugging too many devices into one outlet can lead to overheating and potential electric heater fires. Always plug your electric heaters directly into wall outlets, rather than using power boards or extension leads.

If you must use an extension cord, make sure it’s rated for the wattage of your space heater. Using an undersized extension cord can cause most heaters to get too hot and pose a fire risk. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on appropriate extension cords.

Regularly inspect the heater’s cords and plugs for any signs of damage, such as fraying or exposed wires. Damaged electrical components, such as a digital display or a remote control, can lead to short circuits and fires.

If you notice any issues, stop using the heater immediately and have it repaired or replaced by a professional. Keeping your heater’s electrical components in good condition is key to maintaining a safe home environment.

Usage Guidelines

Most space heaters should never be left unattended. Whether you’re leaving the room for a short period or going to bed, always turn off the heater. Unattended heaters can overheat or tip over, leading to potential fires.

Ensure that children and pets are kept away from your heating element. Curious hands and paws can easily get burned by infrared heat or knock over the heater, creating a hazardous situation. Educate your family about the importance of heater safety and establish clear boundaries around its use.

Always turn off the space heater when it’s not in use. Even if you plan to be away for only a few minutes, it’s safer to switch it off.

Consistently following this practice not only saves energy but also significantly reduces the risk of accidents and fires, ensuring a safer environment for your home.

Maintenance and Inspection

Regular maintenance and inspection of your space heater are crucial for safe operation. Begin by cleaning the heater regularly to remove dust and debris that can accumulate over time. Use a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently clean the exterior and vents.

Inspect your space heater for signs of wear and tear. Check for cracks in the housing, loose parts, and any unusual noises during operation. If you notice any damage, discontinue use immediately and seek professional repair to prevent further issues.

Schedule professional servicing for your space heater at least once a year, especially before the winter season begins. A qualified technician can thoroughly inspect and service the heater, ensuring all components are functioning correctly. Regular professional inspections help maintain the efficiency and safety of your heater, giving you peace of mind during its use.


Additional Safety Tips

In addition to proper placement, there are other important safety measures to keep in mind when using a space heater. Here’s a roundup of additional safety tips:

  • Inspect regularly: Before each use, check your space heater for cracked or damaged cords and plugs. Also, ensure that the heater itself is in good working condition, which includes gas-powered heaters. Any signs of wear or damage call for immediate repair or replacement.
  • Use the right outlet: Always plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet. Avoid using an extension cord or power strip, as these can overheat and lead to a fire.
  • Turn off when not in use: Never leave a space heater running when you leave the room or go to sleep. Always turn it off when it’s not being actively used to minimise any risk of fire.
  • Install smoke alarms: Ensure that smoke alarms are installed on every floor of your home and test them monthly. Working smoke alarms drastically increase your chances of escaping a house fire safely.
  • Choose the right heater: Opt for a heater with a thermostat and built-in safety features (such as auto shut-off features). This helps maintain a safe temperature and reduces the risk of overheating.

By following these additional safety tips, you can enjoy the warmth of your space heater without putting your home or family at risk.

Create a Warm, Secure Environment

Incorporating these safety tips can help you use space heaters effectively while minimising risks. By choosing the right heater, placing it properly, following electrical safety guidelines, and maintaining regular inspections, you can create a warm and secure environment for your home.

Always prioritise safety by educating your household and being vigilant about potential hazards. By adhering to these guidelines, you can enjoy the comfort of your space heater with peace of mind, ensuring a cosy and safe winter season for you and your family.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See our Terms & Conditions here.


Published: 2024-07-02

Air Conditioning Specialists You Can Trust

Our Promise Going Further

Our specialists pride themselves with honest reliable services


Our fixed pricing structure guarantees transparency. You will always be quoted the complete costs before work can commence, and our expert technicians will guide you through the process.

Our specialists pride themselves with honest reliable services


Not all jobs are created equal, but all jobs are equally important. Whether it's a simple repair or ducted air conditioning install, we apply the same high levels of dedication and service no matter the scope of the work.

Professional Expert Technicians


Home is your castle. Your pride and joy. Our well-spoken technicians will show respect towards you and your property and always clean up after themselves.

Technician Zip Pay Payment Options Image
Technician Zip Pay Payment Options Image

Now Available!

Air Con finance options** with trusted pay later options

What Our Happy Customers Have to Say

Better service starts here

5 stars rating

I called them in the morning, and they were at my doorstep within a few hours. The technician was quick to identify the problem, had the necessary parts, and repaired my AC unit in no time.

Marion Minguillon - WA
5 stars rating

My AC was acting up, and I was worried about a hefty repair bill. However, the technicians quickly identified a minor issue, fixed it, and didn't overcharge me. I appreciate their honesty and expertise in troubleshooting the problem.

Sara Cribbs - VIC
5 stars rating

Thorough filter cleaning left no room for concerns, resulting in cleaner air and AC that requires less maintenance. Our home's air quality has improved dramatically, and we couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Lorenzo Rodriguez - SA
  • Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Air Conditioning Logo

    When looking for a leading supplier of wall mounted split systems, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries air conditioners offer reliable, high-quality heating and cooling perfect for Australian family homes.

  • Temperzone Air Conditioning Logo

    Temperzone is the award-winning global manufacturer of air conditioners and leaders in climate innovation with a wide range of systems suitable for Australian homes and commercial applications.

  • Bonaire Air Conditioning Logo

    Bonaire heating and cooling systems are economical, yet high performance. Their reliable air conditioners are manufactured in Adelaide and expertly designed to withstand year-round weather extremes.

  • ActronAir Air Conditioning Logo

    For incredible home comfort, you want ActronAir. Ducted systems or wall hung splits, ActronAir air conditioning has the best residential cooling solutions. You'll never complain about the heat again.

  • Kelvinator Air Air Conditioning Logo

    Australians have enjoyed Kelvinator's cooling reliability for over 80 years. Whether you have a Kelvinator window air conditioner or Kelvinator split system, Metropolitan is here to help 24/7.

  • York Air Air Conditioning Logo

    For optimal year-round comfort from your AC unit, York is the name to know. Distributed by Bonaire, York air conditioners Australia offer superior AC solutions perfect for our Australian climate.

  • Lennox Air Conditioning Logo

    Lennox is a globally recognised brand with a great range of energy-efficient HVAC systems. Choose a Lennox air conditioner when craving that desirable climate control and year-round comfort.

  • LG Air Conditioning Logo

    LG is a world leader in consumer electronics, and its air conditioners are no different. From smart split systems to energy efficient ducted air conditioning, LG air conditioning does it all.

  • Midea Air Conditioning Logo

    Midea is an Australian giant with an international reputation for quality split system air conditioning. You can also find portable coolers and window boxes among the Midea air conditioner range.

  • Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Logo

    Mitsubishi Electric supplies premium residential air conditioners in Australia. Their sophisticated designs, including their sleek wall split system models, are built to offer long-term comfort.

  • Panasonic Air Conditioning Logo

    The latest and greatest Panasonic air conditioners go beyond heating and cooling with air purifying features for healthier breathing. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

  • Rinnai Air Conditioning Logo

    Rinnai is a trusted household name in all things heating and cooling. From the Rinnai gas heater to inverter splits and reverse cycle ducted systems, there's a Rinnai solution for every Aussie house.

  • Samsung Air Conditioning Logo

    Samsung Air Conditioning is known for its reliability and performance. These efficient climate systems are as highly regarded as Samsung’s TVs, home appliances and popular Galaxy smartphones.

  • Brivis Air Conditioning Logo

    Brivis by Rinnai has been a titan in the air conditioning game for 50 years. With an impressive heating and cooling system range, the Brivis name goes hand in hand with quality and longevity.

  • Braemar Air Conditioning Logo

    Braemar has all your heating and cooling needs sorted. Evaporative cooling, ducted gas heating, space heaters, wall heaters, split systems and reverse cycle - Braemar has you covered year-round.

  • Carrier Air Conditioning Logo

    The Carrier air conditioning range is known for sustainability and affordable prices. As a leading Australian AC supplier, Carrier strives to improve the industry through innovative cooling solutions.

  • Breezair Air Conditioning Logo

    Are you after a market leader in evaporative cooling? You need Breezair. Breezair evaporative coolers are manufactured in Australia so you know you're getting cooling to stand the Aussie heat.

  • Kaden Air Conditioning Logo

    Simple solutions are the foundations of Kaden heating and cooling. Products like the Kaden split system are perfect for the ever changing Australian climate so you can always remain content at home.

  • Celair Air Conditioning Logo

    Celair is a leader in ducted evaporative air conditioning with over 40 years of experience behind them. Manufactured right here in Australia, Celair heating and cooling supports local Australians too.

  • NEC Air Air Conditioning Logo

    Beat the heat with a NEC split system. NEC has a heating and cooling solution that will keep you comfortable in all seasons. Experience superior energy efficient heating and cooling with NEC.

  • Coolair Air Conditioning Logo

    As an Australian owned and operated manufacturer, Coolair evaporative air conditioning makes a great high performance companion for anyone looking to escape the harsh heat of our great southern land.

  • Sanyo Air Conditioning Logo

    Sanyo air conditioning models were known for providing trusted AC performance. Although Sanyo no longer operates, Metropolitan can still offer expert 24/7 service to your existing Sanyo system.

  • Fujitsu Air Conditioning Logo

    Stay comfortable all summer long thanks to Fujitsu air conditioning. Fujitsu ducted air conditioning units are perfect for Aussie homes so when you need repairs or servicing, call Metropolitan.

  • Sharp Air Air Conditioning Logo

    With over 100 years in the industry, Japan’s Sharp Air Conditioning is known for luxury products. Sharp air cons provide convenient and effective cooling performance, to deliver year round comfort.

  • Hitachi Air Conditioning Logo

    Are you ready to discover the incredible range of Hitachi air conditioners? We’re talking split systems, wall mounted, ducted heating and cooling and more. So plenty of options for achieving comfort.

  • Stadt Air Conditioning Logo

    STADT air conditioning is synonymous with high quality Australian owned ducted heating and cooling. For any STADT air conditioning service and repair, we are your Australian experts.

  • Haier Air Conditioning Logo

    With over 30 years in the industry, Haier is known internationally for its energy efficient and smart heating and cooling solutions. Haier heating and cooling is just a tap away.

  • Vulcan Air Conditioning Logo

    When you're after a Vulcan air conditioning service, you want Metropolitan. We're experts in Vulcan climate control, providing repairs and servicing for air conditioners.

  • Toshiba Air Conditioning Logo

    Toshiba air conditioning makes use of innovative DC Hybrid Inverter technology which automatically provides high capacity heating and cooling when necessary and minimises running costs when it’s not.

  • TECO Air Conditioning Logo

    TECO has been heating and cooling Australian homes for over 30 years. With split systems, multi splits, window/wall air conditioners and ducted air conditioning, TECO has the whole home covered.

Metropolitan Air Conditioning Service Reviews Metropolitan Air Conditioning Service Reviews