Hanging Curtains Above Baseboard Heaters: Everything You Need To Know

Baseboard heaters are a common home appliance in very cold-prone areas. It regulates heat inside the house to maintain the optimum temperature and keeps a feeling of warmth. Installing a baseboard heater can be very hazardous if the rules or building codes are not followed properly.

The criteria of the surrounding of the baseboard heater are very strict. Especially for the curtains. It is very dangerous to install long curtains around a baseboard heater. This may lead to extreme fire outbreaks. Because curtains can accumulate heat easily. In this article, we shall know everything about hanging curtains above the baseboard heaters. 

Hanging Curtains Above Baseboard Heaters

Is it safe to hang curtains over baseboard heaters?

Generally speaking, it is not safe to hang curtains over the baseboard heaters. Baseboard heaters work on the principle of radiating continuous heat to their surroundings. The baseboard heaters are likely to cause fires under the right conditions. Proper and continuous air regulation is very important for baseboard heaters.

Hanging curtains around the baseboard heaters can cause major problems if not installed properly. Curtains actively halt the air and heat flow to the surroundings. This situation becomes even worse if there is a baseboard heater just below it. 

Normally, curtains are made of heavy fabrics which are generally made of synthetic material. This results in stopping the heat flow and air regulation that comes from the baseboard heater. After a long exposure of heat to the curtains positioned wrongly accumulates heat in the area. The temperature rises gradually. It can even reach up to 150F and 200F.

This sudden rise in the temperature can cause fire outbreaks. Moreover, the curtains will spread the fire actively to the surroundings. That is why it is considered unsafe to hang curtains directly over the baseboard.

But, the scenario can also be altered if the rules are followed properly. This includes the perfect length of curtains hung in better positions around the baseboard heater.

How to hang the curtain properly above the baseboard safely?

In order to hang curtains properly and safely above the baseboard heater, a series of actions are to be done accurately.

Choosing the position and location

It is the most important factor for hanging the curtains above the baseboard heater safely. Baseboards are normally located below the windows. Because it helps to maintain and regulate the heat equally. Therefore, you must hang the curtains from the window drapes and rods.

The curtains must be hung in such a way that the baseboard heater gets sufficient room. Curtains cannot cover the baseboard heater at all. That is why it is better to use a shorter length of curtains to keep it safe. If you want to use longer curtains then you must install the curtain hanger rods somewhat in front of the baseboard heater to avoid heat accumulation.

For the shorter-length curtains, the minimum distance from the baseboard heater should be maintained at 7-8 inches. And, for the long curtains, the distance from the bottom edge of the curtain should be at least 10 inches from the edge of the baseboard heater. 

Out of these two scenarios, the shorter length of the curtain is most acceptable. Because it will be physically at a long distance from the baseboard heater. Besides, the curtain edge is unlikely to trap heat compared to the surface of the curtains.

Choosing the material of the curtain

This criterion is also an important point to be noted while installing curtains above the baseboard heaters. The curtain you will be hanging must be noncombustible and nonconductive to heat as well. There are many varieties of curtains in the marketplace. But, you cannot use most of them around the baseboard heater. 

The synthetic, Voile, Muslin, Chiffon, etc made curtains are highly vulnerable to fire outbreaks. They are easily combustible. Besides, they cannot withstand high temperatures and are directly exposed to heat. That is why these materials of the curtains should be completely avoided for hanging above the baseboard heater. 

You can use the heavy, textile, velvet, damask, brocade made curtains above the baseboard heaters. Though these curtains are not entirely fire-resistant, they can withstand high temperatures quite easily. As a result, they have better heat regulation properties than those of others. 

Therefore, before buying the curtains to be hung above the baseboard heater, the material of the curtain should be kept in mind.

Keeping the surrounding Clean

The surroundings of the baseboard heater are an important factor for safety measures. It is a very sensitive place that requires continuous and good airflow. Since hanging curtains above the baseboard heater already inhibit a part of the air and heat flow. It is recommended not to use other materials around the area to disrupt the heat flow.

In order to stop accumulating it in a certain space, the surrounding area of the baseboard heater must be kept clean. The furniture, tables, chairs, or other home appliances should be strictly kept away from the baseboard heater with a curtain over it. Otherwise, all these materials will actively result in rising temperatures, and fire outbreaks will be a  possibility.

Safety tips for your baseboard heaters

  • To prevent fire hazards, electrical hazards, the building, and construction should be followed strictly while installation.
  • The baseboard heater should be chosen depending upon the area of the room and the length of the wall. 
  • Very dynamic and high heating capable baseboard heaters should be avoided for smaller rooms.
  • Curtains should be hung in a safe manner to avoid fire hazards. It should be 10 inches vertically above the baseboard heater. On the other hand, the curtain should be hung at least 8 inches away horizontally from the baseboard heater.
  • All safety protocols from the manufacturers should be followed strictly.
  • Electrical outlets should be avoided directly above the baseboard heaters.
  • The surrounding of the baseboard heater should be kept free of space. 
  • No heavy furniture, materials should be kept around the baseboard heaters.
  • The baseboard heater itself should be kept clean regularly to avoid overheating.
  • Proper airflow and heat flow should be confirmed after hanging curtains above the baseboard heater.


In this section, we shall get enlightened about different relatable questions regarding hanging curtains above the baseboard heater.

Can curtains catch fire from the heater?

Curtains can easily catch fire from the baseboard heaters. Rather curtains are the most vulnerable material around the baseboard heater to catch fire easily. It is because the material of the curtains is mostly combustible. Besides, the overheating of the area can easily raise the temperature of the space while actively resulting in fire outbreaks through the curtains.

Can hot water baseboard heaters start fires?

How water baseboard heaters can start a fire under the right conditions. If the heater is allowed to overheat and radiate more heat than usual then a fire outbreak is likely to happen. Besides electrical outlets above the heater, close contact of the curtains with the heater potentially helps in a fire hazard.

Can curtains hang over a radiator?

Curtains can be hung over a radiator if the distance rule is followed strictly. The curtains to be hung must be possessed of anti-heat material. Besides, shorter curtains are recommended. 

Are curtains a fire hazard?

Curtains can be a potential reason for a fire hazard if not maintained or hung properly. The safety protocols and distance, length of the curtain should be strictly maintained. Moreover, the materials of the usual curtains are very vulnerable to heat which may cause fire easily.


Curtains over a window are very fruitful and decorative for a room. But, it can be dangerous if there is a baseboard heater just below the curtains. For such scenarios, other measures should be taken. The curtain location and position must be altered in order to avoid fire hazards. Because curtains can be the prime reason to catch fire from the baseboard heater.

For all these reasons, it is better to know about hanging curtains above the baseboard heaters. Following some basic rules and safety protocols, major accidents can be avoided. 

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