Portable Space Heaters

Portable space heaters are a potential source of fire if not used properly. The requirements listed below, applicable code requirements, and manufacturer’s recommendations must be followed to maintain a safe environment.

If a space cannot be adequately heated via the installed building heating system, do the following:

  • Contact Tufts Facilities Operations Desk to report the condition.
  • If the installed system cannot be repaired in a timely manner, Facilities may recommend a temporary space heater meeting the requirements listed below.
  1. All heaters must be Underwriters Listed (UL) or Factory Mutual approved for their intended use.
  2. Heaters must have a thermostat to automatically shut down the unit when the desired temperature is achieved.
  3. Heaters must have a tip over automatic shut down feature.
  4. Heaters must be kept at least 3 feet (36 inches) from all combustible materials e.g. file cabinets, desks, trash cans, paper boxes, etc.

If you will be using a portable space heater, ensure you follow these safety tips:

  • Do not place heaters under desks or other enclosed areas.
  • Heaters must be monitored when in operation.
  • Plug heater directly into a wall receptacle. Never plug it into an extension cord.
  • Heaters need to be monitored daily. Those heaters missing guards, control knobs, feet, etc. must be taken out of service immediately and repaired by a competent person.
  • Do not use heaters in rooms that will not be continually occupied.
  • Keep doors and windows closed, including storm windows. This will help prevent freeze-ups.
  • Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways and paths of travel.
  • Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens.
  • Do not use portable space heaters if small children are expected in the area.
  • No open-coil space heaters are permitted in any university buildings.
  • Space heaters of any type are prohibited in laboratories.

No open coil space heaters are permitted in any university buildings. Space heaters of any type are prohibited in laboratories.

port spac heat

If any of these conditions cannot be met, contact the Fire Marshal’s Office 617-627-3922 for assistance.
For further information on Campus Fire Safety go to www.campusfiresafety.org