Baseboard heaters, you opinion

The plan is to install three to begin with in a trailer. They will run of their own 240v circuit. Here is a link explaining why I’m installing them.

So, has anyone with baseboard heaters had their dwelling burn down? Injured a cat or dog, burned a child?


I lived with baseboard for 2 years in Virginia. It’s a horrible, expensive way to heat a home. That plastic window-sealing kits (~$12 at the hardware store) are a worthy investment. Don’t forget heavy curtains, floor rugs… and a sweater. Brrrr. I could rarely afford to heat my cottage above 60. (of course I was busted broke at the time. but 60F in a Virginia winter cost about $60, that was in 04-05)

I never had any trouble with my cats. Although a hard plastic Rubbermaid laundry basket got melted once from sitting too close. I don’t think the exterior panels are hot enough to burn to a brief touch. Keep flammables well clear (you need to keep baseboard clear for air circulation anyway) and turn it off when you’re out of the house (unless this would cause the pipes to freeze, in which case, you just fret about a short all day long…).

Well, I survived the experience, but I’m not a fan.

Baseboard heaters are very common around here. I’ve never heard of them causing any of these problems. My dogs lay right next to them quite often and don’t get burned. Kids are more likely to get hurt falling on them than getting burned; the ones you link to have rounded corners so you’re good there.

The biggest problem I see with them is improper placement. Generally they are mounted beneath windows so the rising heat in front of the cool window will allow the heat to circulate throughout the room better (I see a lot of wring mistakes too but that applies to any electrical device you can install).

Just like anything else you can get defective products that could start a fire. As for regular use they won’t be a fire hazard when installed correctly. Just don’t pile something on top of the heater like mittens or hats. None of the people that I know with them have had a fire. Make sure you wire each with a thermostat that has an off position. Having individual temp and power control is important for comfort. Under a window is a good place for them.