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JOB SITE HEATING DEVICES
For some of us, the onset of winter means heating our job sites with temporary heaters. When used correctly, temporary heaters can make your working environment much more comfortable. When used incorrectly, they present a significant risk of fire or explosion.
Inspect your equipment! Heaters are used seasonally and are often stored for long periods of time between uses. They may be damaged when they are hauled from one location to another. It is critical that each heater is inspected before operation for signs of damage and is watched closely during initial operation to be sure that it functions properly.
Before using any space heater or other temporary heating device, make certain it is approved for the environment in which you plan to use it. Ask these questions - Is the unit approved for direct contact with wooden floors? Does it consume oxygen? Does it radiate heat or force heated air across the room? The manufacturer’s specifications will explain how and where the heater may be safely used.
Make certain there is adequate ventilation in the room in which the heater will be placed. When the natural supply of fresh air is inadequate, mechanical ventilation must be provided.
These Things Get Hot! Some Things to Keep in Mind:
Be aware that the outside of the heater may not look hot, but if you touch it, you could be severely burned.
Heaters not intended by their manufacturer for use on wood floors must not be set on wood or other combustible materials. This type of heater must be set on suitable heat-insulating material such as 1" concrete or masonry block. The insulating material must extend beyond the heater 2 ft. or more in all directions.
Temporary heaters must be placed at least 10 ft. from combustible tarpaulins or similar coverings. Tarps must be securely fastened to prevent wind from blowing where they could upset the heater or be set on fire.
Most temporary heating devices are intended to be used in the horizontal position - do not attempt to use them otherwise, unless permitted by the manufacturer.
Each temporary heating unit must have a fire extinguisher with a rating of at least 20-ABC positioned to be immediately available in the event of a fire.
Be sure to get authorization to use any temporary heating device. Always use them in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications. Also consider the job site’s conditions and requirements before selecting temporary heaters. Make certain all workers are aware of their presence and instructed in their safe use.
Temporary heaters can be safely used only if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions!
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