Remember the "three-foot rule" when using a space heater
Photo by Achudh Krishna on Unsplash

Following yesterday’s tip about the Australia fires (and how to help fight them), today’s tip concerns fire safety on a smaller scale. When the weather’s cold, many people turn to space heaters for some extra heat. Space heaters are often found in rental homes, including ski rentals, and in such cases are often set up in a hurry (when you’ve just arrived to a cold house, for example).

But space heaters can be dangerous. According to the Red Cross, “fixed and portable space heaters are involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths.” In a post on “ways that winter can kill you,” Reader’s Digest shares a good Red Cross tip that can help limit the risk of fire the next time you use one in a rental house, or even in your own home. It’s called the “three-foot rule”: “When using a space heater, make sure to place it on a hard, level surface, and keep anything flammable, such as paper, clothing, bedding, rugs, or curtains, at least three feet away.” Simple enough, right?

Candles are obviously a fire hazard, too, as are gas ovens and stoves, which the Red Cross says you should never use to heat a home (also: bring a carbon monoxide detector). See more Red Cross’ heating safety tips in this PDF.


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