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Space Heaters

safety logo"fail safe" type > 3 feet from flammable materials.
Never leave unattended or use when sleeping.
Plug directly into wall, never with an extension cord.


FROM: Joseph Leung, University Fire Marshal Department of Environmental Health and Safety

SUBJECT: Use of Portable Electric Heaters

cartoon image of space heaterAs the cold weather approaches, many occupants of our University buildings may tend to utilize portable electric heaters. If members of your staff wish to use portable heaters, please inform them of the following recommendations:

  • Portable electric heaters shall be listed and approved by Underwriter's Laboratories, Inc. (UL).

  • Portable electric heaters should be the fail safe types, which are equipped with an automatic tip over safety shut off switch.

  • Portable electric heaters should be placed at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from paper, curtains, furniture, clothing, bedding or anything else that can burn.
    Please pay particular attention to the clearances as recommended by the manufacturer.

  • Never leave your electric heater running when you leave the room or area or when you go to sleep.

  • Ensure everyone is aware of the high fire hazard associated with drying clothes or placing combustibles over heaters.

  • Plug your electric heater directly into a wall outlet, NEVER using an extension cord.

  • If a wall outlet is not available (see Judy for help).

  • Do not extend the electric cord of the heater through wall openings, under doors or floor coverings. Arrange the cord away from traffic areas where it
    will not be tripped over or otherwise subject to damage.

  • Do not operate an electric heater with a damaged cord or plug or after the heater malfunctions or has been dropped or damaged in any manner.

In the event further information is needed in regards to the use of portable electric heaters or other fire safety related issues, please do not hesitate to call our office at (650) 723 0609 or (650) 723 5099 and we will assist in any way possible.