Preventing Space Heater Fires in Your Workplace This Winter
Even here in South Florida, we experience several days of cold (at least cold for us) weather every winter. Because of this change in temperature, space heaters can be a common fixture in the workplace during the colder months. After all, most workers typically have no access to the controlled building temperatures that are preset by management. Bringing a portable space heaters can seem like the perfect solution for keeping warm in the workplace. However, if not handled correctly, space heaters can have severe repercussions.
Dangers of Space Heaters
While space heaters can be a convenient and effective source of heat in the workplace, they can also be extremely dangerous because they are a fire risk. Space heaters are essentially just a set of super-heated metal coils – and that means they can quickly cause a fire if they are handled in the wrong way. Unfortunately, statistics suggest that heating equipment such as space heaters represent a leading cause of fires in this country. According to the National Fire Protection Association, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 52,050 fires involving heating equipment every single year between 2012 and 2016.
What Are Can You Do to Help Prevent Space Heater Fires?
There are a number of reasons why a space heater may suddenly burst into flames. For that reason, utilizing safe practices around space heaters is crucial to the safety of not only yourself but also your coworkers and your workplace itself. After all, while employers have an obligation to maintain a safe workplace environment and while workers’ compensation benefits may be available when an injury does occur, everyone in a workplace plays a role in ensuring that we all return safely home to our families at the end of the workday. If using a space heater in your work environment:
- Ensure that your management approves the use of space heaters in your workplace before you bring one from home
- Keep your heater at least three feet away from walls or other flammable materials
- Place the unit outside of hallways or pathways that you know are frequently used for walking
- Don’t use a space heater that has frayed insulation, broken wires or other signs of possible overheating
- Never leave the heater on and unsupervised when you leave the area for an extended period of time or go home for the night
Has a Workplace Accident Occurred? Let Us Help.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a space heater or in some other kind of workplace accident, you have rights under the law. You may be entitled to obtain workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries you suffered, and you don’t even need to demonstrate that your injuries were the result of the negligence of your employer. As the Miami personal injury attorneys at Payer & Associates, we will fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve while you focus on your recovery. Our knowledgeable attorneys have the experience you can depend on to help you get the financial restitution you deserve. Contact us today to begin.