Space Heaters on Campus

A safety message from the Department of Fire Safety

During the winter months, some members of the campus community feel that space heaters are needed to provide them with warmth. In most cases, the use of space heaters can be avoided by contacting the Facilities Service Desk (973-655-5444) and requesting that Facilities turn up the heat in the respective office. This is not an option in areas such as the front desks of residence halls due to the constant flow of people into and out of the building. In these cases, the Department of Fire Safety asks that the following space heater safety tips be followed.

Space Heater Safety Tips:

  • Keep all space heaters at least 3 feet away from any combustibles.
  • Use space heaters only as a supplementary source of heat. These devices are not intended to replace the building’s heating system.
  • Do not use extension cords with space heaters; plug them only into electrical outlets.
  • Inspect the heater's cord periodically to look for frayed wire or damaged insulation.
  • Do not use a space heater with a damaged cord.
  • Check periodically for a secure plug/outlet fit. If the plug becomes very hot, stop using the space heater.
  • Heaters should be placed on a flat, level surface.
  • Do not place heaters on furniture since they may fall and become damaged or this could break parts in the heater, posing a fire hazard.
  • Do not place heaters on shelves or in cabinets, where they may fall or where heat may accumulate and cause damage or, worse yet, a fire.
  • Do not use in damp, wet areas.
  • Look for the UL Mark on your electric heater. This means representative samples of the appliance have met UL's stringent safety standards.

Should you have any questions about these tips, please feel free to contact the Department of Fire Safety at 973-655-5401.