Below are a few additional hazards associated with consumer use heaters:
1. They are not commercial grade Space Heaters and can increase the fire hazards in the commercial/city buildings.
2. The Space Heaters tend to remain plugged in at night and unattended during off hours.
3. There are typically multiple heaters plugged in a single circuit which can, and often does, over load the circuit, causing the electrical wires to overheat and may lead to a fire.
4. Some Space Heaters that are brought in are older units of dubious origin and could have damage or wear. This leads to an increased chance for fire due to electrical shorts and overheating.
There are some simple solutions to these issues, without an all-out ban on their use. There are low voltage commercial panel heaters designed for use in offices and cubicles. There are also commercial grade Space Heaters available for purchase, which would be a more appropriate choice for use in commercial/city office buildings. Establishing a policy regarding the use and care of heaters, including a policy to unplug heaters while not in use, can reduce the associated hazards tied to the non-commercial grade and consumer grade heaters brought from home which could have damaged heating elements or electrical cords, or have a dust bunny nest – each could contribute to the fire hazards.
Hopefully this will start a conversation within your Office to ensure that everyone knows the Risks, and Works together to ensure Safety within the Workplace!