Winter safety tips for using space heaters in service operations

KPA Online has published an article offering dealers and service providers tips for safely using space heaters to keep repair facilities warm during these bone-chilling winter months.

Written by KPA’s Lori Matthews, the post notes that in 2011, “space heaters were involved in an estimated 53,600 reported U.S. home fires, with associated losses of 400 civilian deaths, 1,520 civilian injuries, and $893 million in direct property damage.”

OSHA has no regulations prohibiting the use of space heaters in repair facilities but their use is strongly discouraged. For businesses committed to using them, Matthews offers these tips:

  • Never use space heaters in the Parts or Service departments 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.

To read the entirety of the post, please CLICK HERE.

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