Gas and electric heaters
Most fires caused by heaters are caused by sitting too close to them, placing heaters near curtains and furniture, or using them to dry washing.
Follow our advice to keep yourself (and others) safe and warm around fixed and portable heaters.
Eight top safety tips
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Only buy a heater if it has a British or European safety mark.
- Keep your heater at least one metre away from furniture and curtains.
- Don’t move a portable heater while it’s switched on.
- Switch off and unplug heaters before going out or going to sleep.
- Use fireguards to prevent children and pets from touching them.
- Never dry washing on heaters or put anything on top that will obstruct the air grilles.
- Try to secure your portable heater against a wall to stop it from falling over.
- Get your heater PAT tested annually by a qualified electrician.
- Look out for damaged wiring, and if you think the wiring is damaged don’t use your heater. Get it checked by a qualified electrician.
- Get your gas heater serviced at least once a year.
- Only use gas heaters in well-ventilated areas, otherwise, you could be at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow our advice on how to spot the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and keep yourself safe.
- If you’re using a portable gas heater, store gas cylinders outside and away from direct sunlight and frost. Don’t store more gas cylinders than you need.
Free home safety visit
If you’re worried about your safety or the safety of someone else, you could be eligible for a free home safety visit.
What to do if there’s a fire
If your heater starts a fire, you must get out (closing doors behind you), stay out and call the fire service (999).
Stop, drop and roll
If your clothing catches fire, use the ‘Stop, drop and roll’ method.