Portable Space Heaters by John LaPerche

Use of any portable space heater - at home or work - can present an high risk for fire if the heater is not a properly operated, approved appliance. Areas where portable space heaters are used must contain sufficient electrical power to support them. Please consider the following before using a portable heater:

  • Before purchasing a portable space heater, Facilities Management must be notified to assess heating and ventilation in the area/s where space heater/s are being considered.
  • Facilities Management will determine if appropriate heating can be provided by standard building systems and determine if safe and sufficient electrical power is available and communicate back to the department accordingly.
  • Only heaters meeting the following criteria will be considered for use:
    • The unit must be of the oil-filled type, completely enclosed, with no exposed heating elements.
    • The unit must be UL rated (inspection tag intact) and have a grounded plug.
  • Fan forced heaters, quartz or ceramic type heaters and units with exposed heating elements are prohibited.
  • When in use, heater must be kept at least 3 feet from combustible materials.
  • Heater must be operated as per Owner‟s Manual and all safety instructions.
  • Heater must be plugged directly into wall outlets; extension cords may not be used
  • Do not place heater under desk or in other enclosed area. Turn off heater when room is unoccupied; heater must never be left unattended.

Contact EH&S if you have any questions about the use, placement, or operation of space heaters.

Fire Rated Double Doors - Proper Use and Operation by Harry J. Oster

"A chain is only as strong as its weakest link" is a familiar phrase. If we replace the word "chain" with "door," this can be applied to fire rated double doors found at the entrance to common equipment rooms and newer labs. The components of this type of fire rated door assembly are referred to as "active" and "inactive" door leafs. The larger, "active" door leaf (~36") is designed to be used as the operating side incorporating a door handle and self closer at the top of the door, while the smaller sized "inactive" door leaf (~12") is designed to remain CLOSED and LATCHED by way of the top and bottom recessed flush bolt locks embedded into the edge of the door. The "inactive" door leaf does not have a door handle or self closer at the top of the door.

During recent fire safety rounds the smaller "inactive" door leaf has been found open and unlatched in many rooms with this type of door. This condition severely compromises the rooms‟ fire safety rating and is also a clear violation of the New York City Fire Code. A FDNY Inspector may then issue a violation and/or fine. Please help EH&S help you remain safe and avoid violations by simply keeping the smaller "inactive" door leaf closed and latched at all times and only use the larger "active" door leaf for your normal daily activities into and out of these rooms. If you have difficulty with operation of the door, please contact Facilities

Opened Door door closed
Small door open
Note: NO VIOLATION Small Door closed and secured

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