Think Safe: Portable Heaters

Winter is here, and along with it are cold temperatures. It is not uncommon, especially in older residences, to use portable heaters to heat small spaces. However, it is important to understand any potential hazards associated with these heaters so that you can rest easy with no worry about the possibility of causing a fire.


  1. Keep all combustible materials clear of portable heaters, as well as built-in furnaces.

  2. Do not place portable heaters near drapes or other potentially flammable materials.

  3. Portable heaters should be placed on a stable surface so they do not tip over, increasing the risk of fire. There are heaters designed to turn off automatically if they tip over. We recommend looking for this feature if you are purchasing a portable heater.

  4. Check the cord and plug prior to using a portable heater to ensure they are in good working order. If you see a nick in the cord, or a burn mark on the plug or prongs, DON’T USE THE HEATER! Not only is this a shock hazard, it is also a potential fire hazard.

Portable space heaters are a handy commodity to have, but they are not known for their efficiency. When choosing a portable heater, look for products that run at 1500 watts (this should be in the product description on Amazon, or on the product box). These are typically more efficient heaters.

To maximize the efficacy and efficiency of the heater, here are a few tips.


  1. Close the door to the room you’re trying to heat.

  2. Use a portable heater that has a thermostat setting and/or timer.

  3. Turn the heater off when you’re not using it.

  4. Avoid plugging portable heaters into extension cords, when possible. Instead, plug the heater directly into a wall outlet.

If your home does not have central air/heat, it is likely that it will have baseboard heaters, or some other form of electrical wall heater, and while portable space heaters can be a useful tool for supplementing your heating system, modern baseboard heaters and other electrical systems have become much more efficient in recent years.

Our electricians are experienced in the installation of baseboard heaters and other electric heaters, and we would be happy to help get you taken care of before you can say “brrrrr!”

If you have any questions about heating your home with baseboard heaters or electric wall heaters, please give us a call at 541.884.7796, or fill out a request for more information online by clicking here.

This is for informational purposes only. Winema Electric, Inc. is not responsible for the misuse, whether deliberate or accidental, or the malfunction of any portable space heater. When using electronics, please always use caution and consult the instruction manual associated with your product(s).