Space Heater Safety

Space Heater Usage Guidelines

With colder temperatures approaching, many areas will find that their office space might be colder than normal. This leads to many employees utilizing portable space heaters. Portable space heaters are sometimes necessary during periods where building heating units are not functioning properly or during steam outages. If you are experiencing colder temperature levels in your workplace, report the problem to Physical Plant for proper repairs. Space heaters increase utility costs and when improperly used, present a fire hazard. When no other options exist, portable space heaters should be used with great care and the following safety guidelines should be followed:

  • Use oil filled or ceramic type heaters.
  • Heaters must be equipped with safety cut off features that activate in the event that the heater is tipped over.
  • Heaters may not have open (glowing) coils.
  • Heaters should be located at least 3 feet from all combustibles
  • Heaters must be turned off and unplugged when employees leave their office.
  • Plug heaters directly into an electrical outlet. If the use of an extension cord is necessary, be sure to use a U.L. approved power strip equipped with a surge protector. As a reminder, extension cords are only allowed on a temporary basis (up to 90 days).

How Can I Find Out More?

Contact the Safety & Workers' Compensation Office at Extension 4007 if you have questions. For additional information, check out these requirements from the North Carolina Department of Administration.