Safety

Q&A: Space heater approval

OSHA Healthcare Connection, December 16, 2008

Q: Is it against regulations to use a space heater in a physician office?

A: Business occupancies such as freestanding medical and dental offices and clinics have no space heater restrictions, but other occupancy classifications do.

The Life Safety Code by the National Fire Protection Association generally prohibits space heaters in healthcare occupancies such as hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory occupancies such as surgery centers. But there is an exception to the rule: Space heaters can be used in an employee-only area as long as staff members do not sleep in that space and the heating element of the heater does not exceed 212°F.

Be sure to verify your occupancy category with the building manager or your local fire authority.

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