|This ceramic heater, suitable for use at work, is available in the Fermilab Stockroom. Photo: J.B. Dawson, ESH&Q|
As the days turn cooler, many people find their workspace chillier as well. The use of space heaters is permitted at the laboratory, provided employees follow these conditions:
- Ensure that space heaters have the required UL, ETL or NRTL label and have a switch that turns it off if it is tipped over.
- Choose ceramic heaters, rather than radiant heaters, for use at work. The glowing elements of radiant heaters pose a greater fire hazard, so these heaters should be retired.
- Inspect heaters before use. Do not use ones that are damaged, discolored or have frayed cords or plugs.
- Clean dust and lint from space heaters. Look through ceramic heaters to see if lint is clogging the heating element. Clean the air filters on heaters that have them.
- Place the heater on a stable, level surface where it won’t be knocked over.
- Keep combustible materials such as paper, furniture or clothing away from the heater. There must be no combustible materials within 3 feet around or above the heater.
- Plug space heaters into permanent building outlets, not into power strips or extension cords.
- Do not power a space heater from a loose or damaged outlet. Ask for bad outlets to be repaired.
- Never run the cord under rugs or carpets.
- If the cord, plug or receptacle gets hot when the heater is running, stop using the heater until the problem is fixed.
- Turn off space heaters when you leave your work area. This reduces the fire hazard and saves energy, too.
We recommend that you use the ceramic-element space heaters from the Fermilab Stockroom, item #2800-100000. You don’t need to bring your own heater to work.