Are portable electric radiators safe?

Last updated: June 2023

Freestanding, flexible and DIY-friendly – it’s safe to say that portable electric radiators make a prime heating solution for those seeking versatility. From your conservatory to your spare bedroom, these heaters are ideal for spaces used on an infrequent basis. However, as is the case with any heating system, it’s only natural to question whether they’re safe or not, especially if there are small children in your household. With this in mind, we’ll be answering all your FAQs regarding the safety of portable electric radiators – but first, we must understand what these heaters are and how they work.

Portable electric radiators – explained

What is an electric radiator?

An electric radiator is an efficient and versatile heating solution that uses a combination of convection and radiation to deliver warmth. This means that it heats the surrounding air as well as people and surfaces directly, resulting in fast-acting heat that gets rooms up to temperatures quickly, whilst also supplying a deeper level of lasting warmth.

Electric radiators are 100% efficient at point of use, meaning every watt of energy drawn from the plug socket is converted into usable heat, so nothing is wasted. Better yet, you can use a green energy provider or pair your electric heating system with a renewable energy source, like solar panels, to make your heating system 100% efficient from start to finish. Complete with smart controls and stylish finishes, as well as a zero-maintenance guarantee, it’s no wonder that more and more of us are opting for this premium heating solution.

Learn more about electric radiators, and their benefits, here.

What is a portable electric radiator?

Portable electric radiators are freestanding heaters that can be moved around your property from room to room. This type of heater is compatible with attachable feet – all you have to do is clip the feet onto the bottom of the radiator and then plug it into the nearest suitable plug socket. It really is that easy!

Why choose a portable electric radiator?

When it comes to top-up heating intended to complement an existing system, you can’t go wrong with a freestanding electric radiator. With the promise of robust warmth and hassle-free fitting, portable radiators are ideal for occasional heating, especially in spaces like spare bedrooms and garden offices. Another major benefit is that these heaters usually allow for both freestanding and wall mounted installation, so you can always switch to a more permanent fitting if you change your mind later down the line. With weights starting at 5.05kg, many of these heaters are also super light, making transportation that much easier.

Our bestselling portable electric radiators:

Ecostrad iQ Ceramic

Haverland RC Wave

Ecostrad Ecowärme

Are portable electric radiators safe?

Yes – providing that you turn them off before bed, or whenever they’re left unattended. So, let’s take a closer look at what makes these heaters so safe.

Zero carbon monoxide

Compared to gas central heating, electric radiators don’t burn fuel to generate power which completely eliminates the risk of carbon monoxide leaks. As a result, you won’t even require an annual safety check – saving you time and money. In fact, other than a good old dust every now and again, electric radiators come with a zero-maintenance guarantee, making heating effortless.

Safety ratings & warranties

Conforming to EU regulations, all electric radiators are CE marked which means they’ve undertaken a thorough range of safety tests proving their suitability for sale. Many of these portable heaters also come with a warranty you can rely on, such as the iQ Ceramic’s generous 10-year guarantee. These two factors alone are incredibly reassuring, from a safety and quality perspective. 

Protective features

Many portable electric radiators are kitted out with protective features designed to enhance safety, including:

Thermal Limiters

Automatically switches the radiator off once it hits a certain temperature, avoiding the risks associated with overheating.  

Low Surface Temperature Function

Lets you limit the heater’s maximum temperature to a touch-safe level, from anywhere between 30 – 85°C – ideal for NHS properties or homes with small children.

Precise digital thermostats

Automatically adjusting to match your set temperature, these highly accurate thermostats let you maintain your comfort levels without overheating your space.

Keypad Locks

Some portable electric radiators come with a child-lock setting that prevents children from tampering with the control panel, for extra reassurance.

Intuitive control

Portable and wall-mounted electric radiators are renowned for their superior controllability – but how does that make them safer?

24/7 programming

With 24/7 programming, you can create custom heat schedules for every hour of the day, seven days a week. As a result, the risk of accidentally leaving your radiator on is completely eliminated. For example, if you just use your conservatory on Wednesday and Thursday nights, you can pre-program the freestanding radiator in advance to ensure it only supplies warmth on these given days. By only heating spaces that are in use, you’ll not only save energy, but you’ll also be able to warm your home with total peace of mind.

Motion sensor mode

Some smart portable radiators offer motion sensor mode, which intuitively adjusts your heating based on movement. So, when you enter a room, the heater will switch on automatically and then switch off again after long periods of no movement, such as when you’ve left the room. Once again, you don’t have to worry about mistakenly leaving your freestanding radiator on – the appliance prevents overheating on your behalf.

WiFi connectivity

For ultimate convenient control, WiFi connectivity ticks all the boxes – simply download the Ecostrad Ecosystem app to start adjusting warmth from your smartphone, from anywhere in the world. So, if you’re watching TV in your living room and suddenly remember you forgot to turn the heating off in your garden office, simply use the app on your phone to do so. Some WiFi heaters even come with tech-savvy voice control, which lets you connect your heater to Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. This function means you don’t have to move a muscle to turn your heating off – simply make quick adjustments via snappy voice commands. 

Can you leave a portable electric radiator on all night?

Whilst wall mounted electric radiators can be used overnight, the same rules don’t apply to portable heaters. Whether your cat brushes past it or you’ve set the heater on a crumbled part of your carpet, any slight risk of the appliance falling over is a safety hazard and should be dealt with before you turn in for the night.

If you are using your portable heater to keep the guestroom warm when you have visitors, we’d recommend leaving the radiator on throughout the day and checking on it every hour or so – remember, the radiant warmth supplied by the heater is absorbed by objects and surfaces, so your guest will feel comfortable heat even after the radiator has been switched off. So, when you unplug it before bedtime, you can rest assured that the room will be filled with lasting, comfortable warmth for your guest to enjoy.  

From fast-acting and effective warmth to zero maintenance, check out this video to learn why electric radiators are taking UK homes by storm.

Heat your home without the risk

Whichever purpose your portable electric radiator will serve, it’s clear that these heaters come with a complete safety guarantee. Protective measures, sophisticated control and robust CE marks means you can heat your home and extensions without a worry. Plus, straightforward fitting and plug and go installation make these heating solutions a convenient and flexible choice for any home. So, to find the perfect portable electric radiator for you, browse our full range now.

Key learnings

  • Portable electric radiators, just like any electric heater, are completely safe. In fact, they’re one of the safest heating solutions available since they don’t produce carbon monoxide.
  • Portable electric radiators come with a range of safety features such as thermal limiters, which cut power to the radiator if it exceeds a certain temperature.
  • You shouldn’t leave your portable electric radiator running at night or left unattended. As the radiator is not mounted to the wall, there is a risk that it might fall over and pose a hazard.