The Dos and Don'ts of Space Heaters in the Workplace
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As cold winter weather continues, the use of space heaters not only in homes, but in organizations, becomes increasingly more common. Considering not for profits operate in a variety of different locations – warehouses, homes, offices, etc. – it’s essential that you understand the dos and don’ts of using portable electric heaters. Even if your organization doesn’t currently have a space heater, an employee or volunteer might bring one in not thinking of the possible hazards that exist. If not handled correctly, these appliances can ignite nearby combustible materials like curtains, chairs, paper, clothing and flammable liquids.
Check out our tips and ensure those within your not for profit follow them as well.
- Keep any flammable items at least three feet from space heaters.
- Turn off space heaters when you leave the room.
- Supervise children and pets around space heaters to prevent burns.
- Purchase a space heater with the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety mark, which signifies that the product was tested for potential safety hazards. Also look for units with automatic shut-off features and heating element guards.
- Keep space heaters away from water.
- Place space heaters on hard, level surfaces away from walking areas.
- Use space heaters to thaw pipes or dry clothing. Misusing a space heater can increase fire and burn risks.
- Use a space heater that has frayed insulation, broken wires or signs of overheating. If you notice any of these problems, have the unit serviced immediately.
- Plug a heater in using an extension cord. If you must do so, make sure that the cord is the right gauge size and type for the heater.
- Use a heater near a sink or in the bathroom.
Remembers, space heaters are meant for temporary use and should not be used for extended periods, such as overnight.
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