Radiator – Fire Hazard?


    Hi all,

    This is my first winter in an apartment with an old-fashion radiator. Because my apartment is so small, one radiator is quite close to my bed (namely: sheets and blankets). Is this a fire hazard? I make sure nothing’s touching the raditor when it’s on, but when it’s off I’m not quite so diligent (and it does heat up a bit.)


    7 Replies

    1. Probably more of a burn hazard for you…a lot of hardware/lumber stores sell wood radiator covers. Expect to pay around $200 for a custom sized one, but maybe your landlord would kick in part of that.

    2. Warm towels are fantastic on cold mornings!
      As for Radiator covers- are you handy? They are pretty easy to make. If not I have seen them in the window of some of the unfinished furniture stores (Gothic Cabinets), but I don’t know whatthe cost woudl be. You might also want to see if there are any out there on ebay or craigslist that would fit your radiator.

    3. alsawo, good question. When I first moved to my brownstone, I was also wondering about keeping things close to the radiators until a friend mentioned her mom used to hang the kids clothes on the radiator to dry. So it seems cmu’s correct that the radiators are not nearly hot enough to cause fires. (if they were, we would likely be reading about multiple fires per day in Brooklyn!)

      PHfamily, warm towels…nice! I’m going to do that.

    4. About radiator covers… any ideas about where to buy cheap ones (i.e., that a renter might buy knowing that it will only be useful to him for one or two winters at most).

      I currently have a board (from a disassembled shelf) leaning against a radiator to prevent the heat blast from hitting the bed when the steam comes through at 5:30am.

    5. You should be fine, we used to let our towels dry on a large one and nothing ever happened except we had wonderfully warm towels!
      If it really freaks you out you can buy a radiator cover…..