How Do I Make My Baseboard Heaters Safer?

Posted by Johnny on 2022 Sep 28th

Are Baseboard Heaters Safe?

Yes, baseboard heaters are generally safe, but can benefit from an option to make them slightly safer. Electric baseboard heaters are well known for having several safety issues when used improperly. With so much electricity running through those lines, heaters get hot enough to cause burns and become a fire hazard. Any flammable materials (curtains, toys, throw pillows) left too close to the gap in the heater or touching the heating element can result in a fire.

Safety of Hydronic vs. Electric Baseboard Heating

Hydronic heaters are inherently safer due to a lower overall temperature of the heating element. Depending on your settings, water from a boiler starts out at approximately 180°F, but by the time it reaches the pipe and thus fins that make up the heating element, it’s usually only at approximately 130 to 140°F.

Electric baseboard heaters are heated solely by electricity. Because of this, the heating elements inside can reach a higher temperature than their hot-water-heated counterparts. Electric heaters reach about 180 to 200°F, which is hot enough to start a fire if a flammable material is touching it for a period of time.

How to Make Your Baseboard Heaters Safer

There are a few ways to improve the safety of your baseboard heaters.

1) One thing to keep in mind is the heat regulation of your baseboard heaters. You should have all heaters in a room controlled by a central thermostat to prevent any one heater from getting too hot or staying on long after the room is warmed.
2) You should clean and maintain your baseboard heaters to maintain optimal heating capability as well as preventing any dust collected on the heating element from burning.
3) Keep the bottoms of the baseboard heaters clear, as this is a key component of how air moves through the heating elements, and blocking this would both inhibit heating and pose a fire risk.
4) Lastly, you can cover all types of baseboard heaters to reduce exposure of outside items (including human appendages) to the heating elements.
Safely Covering Your Baseboard Heaters

Previously, baseboard heater covers were only available for the hydronic style of baseboard heaters. With Veil’s single-piece, slip-on design, electric baseboard heaters can safely and securely be covered, without affecting the output of heat or creating additional fire risk.

A key benefit of Veil baseboard covers is child safety. Veil covers the gap exposing the heating element on uncovered baseboard heaters, protecting the heating element from stray toys, curtain edges, and tiny, curious fingers. You should still avoid touching a baseboard heater in use. Made out of 16-gauge aluminum, Veil cover components are designed to retain heat in order for the heater to work properly and warm the room. For details on why the covers have to heat up, check out our explanation on how baseboard heaters work.

Keep in mind, even if you are updating your heaters with new covers, you should never remove any part of the end caps of electric baseboard heaters. These are usually part of the electric components and should not be tampered with.