Nine Tips for Space Heater Safety

Denise GillinInsurance, News, Risk Management

From Succeed / KPA Safety Platform

Can we all agree that it seems no one can agree on what is a comfortable office temperature?

However, office temperature is important and may impact in ways previously not considered. A study conducted by Cornell University found that chilly workers not only make more errors but cooler temperatures could increase a worker’s hourly cost by 10 percent, as estimated by Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory.

Bring out the space heaters

If you are going to use them, follow these guidelines from Succeed / KPA safety resource platform to ensure a safe work environment:

  • Never use space heaters in the areas where flammable materials are stored and used.
  • Ensure the space heater has been approved for use by a recognized safety testing laboratory.
  • The heater must have an automatic safety switch that turns off the unit if it is tipped over.
  • Before using the heater, inspect the electrical cord. Look for frayed wire or cracked insulation. If there are any defects in the cord or unit it should not be used.
  • The heater should be plugged directly into the wall; outlet and extension cords should not be used.
  • Never leave the unit on while unattended.
  • Do not place the heater near combustible materials. Allow at least three feet between the heater and combustible material. Space heaters need space.
  • Do not place the heater in or near wet areas or in high traffic areas, such as exit ways.
  • Register your space heater with the manufacturer so any recall or safety notices can be communicated in a timely manner.

For more information, contact a member of the Murray Risk Control Team at 717.397.9600 for additional assistance on resources and tools for prevention, including materials contained in the Succeed / KPA risk management platform.

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