Are Oil Filled Electric Heaters Safe?

Oil filled radiant heaters are used to heat small homes or individual rooms. The heaters are shaped like radiators, filled with oil, and have heating elements inside that warm and circulate the oil through the radiator chambers.

Oil heaters gently warm the room in which they are located.


The oil that manufacturers use to fill the oil heaters has a much higher flash point than the heater is capable of producing, making them safe to use. When air passes over the radiators, it warms up and radiates outward. The heaters do not heat as quickly as radiant heaters but they stay warm longer.


The oil heaters have temperature gauges that range from warm to hot. Since the thermostats inside regulate the maximum temperature that the heater can produce, there is no danger of overheating. The heaters do not achieve temperatures hot enough to burn paper, cloth or quick contact with skin.


These heaters are tightly sealed and are safe even if they are knocked over. A switch turns the heater off when it is not upright. The oil inside is permanent. Manufacturers use oil to fill them because oil is a good heat conductor. These heaters can draw a fair amount of electricity so using the right size extension cord when needed will reduce the risk of electrical fire.