Space Heater Safety Tips

Topics: Loss Control

Finding the right temperature to keep all employees comfortable throughout the winter months is a struggle for all types of organizations, from those employing warehouse workers to office workers. As the cold weather continues, many employees utilize portable space heaters to help warm their areas and stay productive. However, when not used properly, these appliances can greatly increase the risk of a fire in the workplace.

How to Use a Space Heater Safely in the Office and Workplace

A National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) report found that in 2022 local fire depatments responded to 1.5 milion structural fires causing $18 billion in damage. Space heaters or heating equipment are some of the many causes of these fires. When space heaters are not used properly in the workplace, they can easily ignite nearby boxes, paper, flammable liquids, curtains, clothing and other combustible materials and cost a business thousands of dollars in damage – or worse, put the lives of their employees at risk.

Here are a few space heater safety tips all employees should keep in mind:
  • Always plug the space heater directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord. 
  • Place the space heater on a level surface with a 36-inch perimeter or clearance.
  • Read the user's manual and use it according to manufactuer specifications.
  • Do not set any objects on top of the space heater.
  • Do not leave it unattended. Always turn the space heater OFF when you are away from your work environment.
how to use a space heater safely
If a business will allow employees to use space heaters in the workplace, it’s recommended that they take the time to create a policy regarding their safe usage. While there are no federal rules that specifically prohibit employees from using them, there’s no doubt these appliances can compromise the safety of the workplace.

Loss Control from AmTrust Financial

AmTrust’s Loss Control Department specializes in risk management solutions that improve employee safety. We offer a variety of workplace safety resources that can help your organization reduce workplace injuries and other incidents. For more information, please contact us today.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors. Coverages may vary by location. Contact your local RSM for more information.

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