When buying and installing a small space heater, follow these guidelines:
Only purchase newer model heaters that have all of the current safety features. Make sure the heater has the Underwriter's Laboratory (UL) label attached to it. Choose a thermostatically controlled heater, since they avoid the energy waste of overheating a room. Select a heater of the proper size for the room you wish to heat. Do not purchase oversized heaters. Most heaters come with a general sizing table. Locate the heater on a level surface away from foot traffic. Be especially careful to keep children and pets away from the heater.
The two primary health risks from heaters are the risk of fire, and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas and kerosene heaters carry the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if not used according to the manufacture instructions. Electric heaters do not carry the risk of carbon monoxide. The risk of fire from electric heaters may be reduced by switches that cut power in the event of the device being knocked over, or by thermal cut-out switches that prevents overheating. The EPA does not consider space heaters as an ENERGY STAR certified product.