Environmental Health and Safety

Portable Space Heaters - Fire Safety

Use of Portable Space Heaters Policy

Cleveland State University recognizes that individuals have different levels of comfort associated with temperature. The use of electric space heaters is recognized as a temporary measure and is permitted provided the following procedures are followed.

Facilities (Mechanical and Electrical Operations) Management should be contacted if there is inadequate heat in any work area. Space heaters should not be the first course of action.

  1. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions
  2. Space heaters are not permitted in University dormitories or apartments.
  3. Space heaters must be electrically powered except as noted in item # 3 below.
  4. Fuel powered or propane space heaters are only permissible in construction sites and athletic facilities upon approval of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
  5. Any space heaters used must be UL or FM approved and must be labeled accordingly.
  6. Space heaters must have a thermostat that shuts off the unit when a certain temperature is reached.
  7. Space heaters must have a tip over shut down feature. If a space heater is knocked over the unit must automatically shut off.
  8. Space heaters should be rated not to exceed 120 Volts, 12.5 Amps, 60 Hz, 1500 Watts and 5200 BTU’s.
  9. Space heaters must be kept at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials such as files, curtains, and trash cans.
  10. Space heaters shall not be placed under desks or in other enclosed areas.
  11. Nothing shall be placed on top or touching a space heater.
  12. Space heaters must be turned off and unplugged when the area being used is not occupied. When unplugging, pull by the plug and not the cord.
  13. Space heaters must always be plugged directly into a 120-volt wall receptacle when in use. Extension cords cannot be used with space heaters.
  14. Do not operate space heaters with a damaged electrical cord.
  15. Do not run space heater’s electrical cord under carpeting or throw rugs.
  16. Space heaters shall not be used in bathrooms, laundry areas or other areas where water is present.
  17. Space heaters shall not be used in areas where flammable materials are stored
  18. Space heaters should be checked periodically by the user to ensure there are no frayed cords or missing guards. Any repairs to space heaters must be done by a qualified person as per the National Electric Code.
  19. If use of a space heater results in the activation/tripping of a circuit breaker, report this situation immediately to FAST Coordination Center at extension 2500.
  20. Representatives of the Facilities Management (Mechanical and Electrical Operations) and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety may inspect and require the removal of any space heater unit that is observed as creating a hazard or is inappropriate to a particular location based on specific circumstances, codes or legal requirements