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Space Heater

The Do’s & Don’ts for Space Heater Safety


Portable space heaters are a potential source of fire if not used properly. The requirements listed below, and the manufacturer’s recommendations, must be followed to maintain a safe environment. If your space heater causes the breakers to trip, contact UHD Facilities and follow their instructions. If you will be using a portable space heater, ensure you follow these safety practices.

  • Only electric heaters are permitted indoors.
  • ALWAYS plug heater directly into a wall receptacle. NEVER plug it into an extension cord or surge protector.
  • All heaters must be Underwriters Listed (UL) or a testing agency that adheres to UL testing standards.
  • Only use models that shut off automatically when tipped over.
  • Heaters must be monitored when in operation. Turn off your space heater when you leave the office.
  • Heaters must be kept at least 3 feet (36 inches) from all combustible materials (file cabinets, desks, trash cans, paper boxes, etc.).
  • Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways, and paths of travel.
  • All space heaters are prohibited in labs.
  • All heaters must have an automatic shut-off timer.

Don’ts -

  • NEVER place space heaters under desks.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Do not operate any heater with a damaged cord or plug, or after the heater. malfunctions, or has been dropped or damaged in any manner.
  • NEVER use space heaters in any laboratories.
  • Do not run the cord UNDER carpeting; do not cover the cord with throw rugs, runners, or any objects. Arrange cord away from traffic area where it will not be tripped over. 
  • Do not pinch the space heater cord under furniture or with any other items.
  • Do not place anything on top of a space heater.
  • Do not place the heater where it will create a tripping or evacuation hazard.
  • NEVER use a space heater to block open doors to distribute the heat.
  • Do not leave the heater running when you leave the room.
  • Do not use a space heater in areas where gasoline, paint, or flammable liquids are used or stored; a heater has hot arcing or sparking parts inside.
  • NEVER use open coil space heaters on campus.


The following are examples of ALLOWABLE space heaters.

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The following are examples of space heaters NOT permitted on campus.

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Space heater safety links:

Space Heater Safety

  1. Space Heater Video 1 -
  2. Space Heater Video 2 -