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  • Writer's pictureClement Insurance

Space Heater Safety Tips

During cold weather months, space heaters

are commonly used in the workplace. Using

these heaters properly will keep employees

warm. However, if used incorrectly or not as

intended, a fire could start, an electrical shock

could occur, and carbon monoxide may be

produced if the heater burns fuel.

To better control these hazards, all companies

should have an enforced space heater policy

and established best practices if they

are allowed. Suggested Guidelines:

■ When space heaters allowed should be listed

with UL® (Underwriters Laboratories®) or CSA®

(Canadian Standards Association®).

■ Prior to use all heaters should be approved

by management.

■ A clearance of a minimum of 36 Inches around

each heater should be maintained.

■ Combustibles and flammables should not be in

this area.

■ Do not place in high traffic areas where they can

cause trip falls on the cord or heater.

■ Frayed or damage damaged electrical cords

should never be used.

■ Do not use in conjunction with power strips or

extension cords.

■ Plug unit directly into an electrical socket.

■ Do not run cords across walkways or under rugs.

■ Heaters should never be left unattended. It the

employee leaves the room to attend a meeting or

goes out for lunch the heater should be turned off

and unplugged at the end of the day. Fuel Fired Space Heaters:

If used make sure they are safe and consider

the following:

■ Complete at least annually, inspections by a

certified technician to properly adjust and clean.

■ Follow all manufacturer’s instructions and

maintenance schedules such as:

1. Inspect the built-in safety devices (oxygen

depletion, tip over and touch sensors).

2. Inspect fuel lines and tanks for possible

damage, corrosion and possible leaks

3. Before turning on or lighting the heater make

sure the controls are working properly.

4. Inspect the exhaust fan for blockage.

5. Visually look at all gaskets and vents and

check for any possible corrosion, possible

blockage or holes.

6. Inspect for any possible damage, do not use

if damage is found.

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