Electric fireplaces and space heaters are an affordable way to heat up many rooms in the home, and, while they may be cleaner and easier to use than a traditional wood or gas-burning fireplace, you should take into consideration all safety warnings before purchasing and safely operating the appliance.
Never purchase an electric fireplace unless a laboratory that is nationally recognized has tested and certified the fireplace. Manufacturers must meet certain criteria nationally mandated by the Consumer Protection and Safety Commission (CPSC) for electric, kerosene, vented and unvented space heaters.
Automatic Cutoff and Guards
All electric fireplaces must come with an automatic cutoff device in the event that they tip over, which is a fire-prevention measure. Another such measurement that is required by CPSC is that all electric fireplaces and heaters must have adequate heating coils and heating guards to prevent fires.
The fireplace should be installed in an area that contains a nonflammable surface. Also, do not put carpets, drapes, furniture, bedding or any other flammable materials on or near an electric fireplace.
Always use the electric fireplace heater in accordance with the manufacturer directions. If you leave a room for an extended time or go to sleep, always turn off the unit. While an electric fireplace will not generate carbon monoxide, there is still a fire risk and a risk of overheating. Never touch the coils of an electric fireplace, and never sleep near an electric fireplace heater.