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Portable space heaters are a potential source of fire if not used properly. The requirements listed below, applicable code requirements, and manufacturer's recommendations must be followed to maintain a safe environment.
A. If a space cannot be adequately heated via the installed building heating system, do the following:
B. All heaters must be Underwriters Listed or Factory Mutual approved for their intended use.
C. Heaters must have a thermostat to automatically shut down the unit when the desired temperature is achieved.
D. Heaters must have a tip over automatic shut down feature.
E. Heaters must be kept at least 3 feet (36 inches) from all combustible materials e.g. file cabinets, desks, trash cans, paper boxes, etc.
F. Do not place heaters under desks or other enclosed areas.
G. Heaters must be monitored when in operation.
H. Plug heater directly into a wall receptacle. Never plug it into an extension cord.
I. Heaters need to be monitored daily. Those heaters missing guards, control knobs, feet, etc. must be taken out of service immediately and repaired by a competent person. Do not use heaters in rooms that will not be continually occupied.
J. Do not use portable space heaters if small children are expected in the area.
K. If any of these conditions cannot be met, contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety at (302)-831-8475 for advice.
The University of Delaware, Department of Environmental Health & Safety is a member of the NFPA and some NFPA documents are used as a reference for this page.