Consumer Alert: Buying the right space heater is a matter of safety

One person was killed in a house fire in Rochester Wednesday night. It’s at least the sixth fire in two days. And that led me to investigate space heaters for this Consumer Alert. 

While we don’t yet know what caused the series of fires in the Flower City, we do know that all too often, the cause of a house fire can be linked to the space heater.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters cause almost 22,000 house fires every year. And unfortunately, those fires steal the lives of at least 300 people.

Consumer Reports tested more than 90 space heaters, scoring how well they heated a 200-square-foot room as well as how safe they are. Their tests included tipping the heaters over to see if they would automatically shut off. They also wrapped the heater in fabric to cause it to overheat. If it shut off without scorching the fabric, it earned a high score.

Click here for a link to Consumer Reports guide for buying the best space heater.