There’s nothing more lovely than a cheerily crackling fire and the family gathered about during the holidays, right? Not exactly. This “picture print by Currier and Ives” is much more dream than reality.

The reality is messy, dangerous, and demanding. It involves constantly feeding the flames, sweeping up ashes, and sparks burning holes in the rug.

If you want the ambiance without all the drama of the actual fire, electric fireplaces are the way to go. They are safe, beautiful, and zero work. When you picture the holidays this year, picture an ideal setting sans the soot.



How Safe Are Electric Fireplace Heaters?

Electric fireplaces are extremely safe with no more danger than operating any other electrical appliance. Here’s why.

There’s No Flame Danger

Electric fireplaces do not have any actual flame. They use light and projection to create the look of flame. The “flames” themselves do not produce any heat or pose any danger.

The heat comes from a system similar to a space heater, which blows air over an electric coil. Infrared heating units use electromagnetic heating and a fan to create and distribute heat. Either way, the dangers are minimal.

Want realistic flames in up to 12 different colors? It doesn't get much better than this Modern Flames built-in electric fireplace.

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There Are No Gasses, Smoke, or Waste Products

Because electric fireplaces don’t burn fuel they do not create any carbon monoxide or other gasses/smoke. They eliminate waste products as well like ashes, etc. so there’s little to no cleaning and maintenance. They don’t need outside venting or a supply of fresh air to remain safe.

There Are Safety Features

Electric fireplaces are generally considered to be safe when used correctly and maintained properly. However, like any electrical appliance, there are potential risks associated with their use. Here are some factors to consider to ensure the safe use of an electric fireplace, the first of which being safety features.

Look for safety features on your electric fireplace that increase your safety like adjustable temperature control, direct-wiring capability, remote control, timers, etc. Here are a few more things to think about to make your electric fireplace safer.

Proper Placement

Place the electric fireplace on a stable and level surface away from flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, and bedding.

Electrical Outlet

Always plug the electric fireplace directly into a wall outlet and avoid using extension cords or power strips, which can overheat and increase the risk of fire.

Regular Maintenance

Clean the unit regularly to remove dust and debris, which can accumulate and pose a fire risk.

Unplug When Not in Use

When the electric fireplace is not in use, unplug it from the wall to prevent any potential electrical issues.

Read the Manual

Always read and follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety guidelines that come with the electric fireplace.

Operate with Care

You should always operate an electric fireplace with the same care you would any electric appliance:

  • Turn it off when unattended
  • Keep away from liquids
  • Use proper electrical outlets
  • Unplug the unit at the first sign of malfunction

Planning on mounting a TV near your electric fireplace? Review our list of safety tips first.

3 Simple Safety Considerations


Child & Pet Safety

Are wall mounted electric fireplaces safe? All types of electric fireplaces are among the safest fireplace options if you have children or pets at home. They won’t become hot enough to pose a danger.

However, the heating elements themselves do get hot. The element is generally housed inside the unit away from little hands and curious noses but it doesn't hurt to be cautious around these components.

Consider This

Like any electrical appliance, there is a risk of electrical malfunctions, so it's essential to inspect the cord and plug regularly for any signs of wear or damage. Once again, never use extension cords for your electric fireplace. Always plug it directly into the outlet.

Be Smart

Are electric fireplaces safe? Yes. But it doesn't hurt to exercise some common sense. 

Don’t block the vents where the warm air comes out. Make sure vents are free from debris and don’t come too close to drapery or furniture.

You can enjoy the whimsy and magic of a fire without all the worry with an electric fireplace. Their safety can’t be matched.

Learn More About Electric Fireplaces