Fire Prevention

Guidelines for Portable Electric Heater Usage

Portable electric heaters constitute a potential fire hazard. Too often they are left on inadvertently, or placed on desks or shelves in the proximity of combustible items, which may result in a fire. These types of heaters can also overload building circuits, which may also cause fires. Physical Facilities, EH&S and the Campus Fire Marshal strongly discourage the use of these appliances.

Physical Facilities strives to maintain proper building temperatures. If your building is too cold, please contact Physical Facilities so they can fix the problem. In the event that existing building systems cannot provide a comfortable temperature range, the use of a personal heater will be permitted after an electrical safety inspection is performed by Environmental Health and Safety.

To ensure the safest use of portable heaters, please follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep all combustible materials a minimum of 3 feet away from the heater.
  2. Place heaters only on the floor.
  3. All heaters must be UL listed and have a tip - over switch (a device which automatically turns off the power if the heater tips over).
  4. The heater should be plugged directly into an electrical wall outlet without the use of an extension cord or power strip.
  5. Please turn off AND unplug the heater when you leave the room or the area.

If you have any questions or to schedule an inspection, please call 805.893.5848.