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Temporary Heater Safety Tips

Temporary Heaters

On construction sites, temporary heaters are used for heating tasks like ground thawing, concrete curing, or general drying purposes. They’re handy to have — especially through the winter — but can quickly turn into hazards: improperly installed temporary heaters can lead to major fire losses on construction projects. Temporary heater safety should be a top concern among construction and contracting risks.

Proper Clearance

The most common reason for fires resulting from temporary heating? A lack of proper clearance when the unit is installed. The “salamander” or “radiant” types of temporary heaters are direct-fired devices, typically fueled by propane, diesel, or natural gas. These un-vented and self-contained heaters are the ones you’ll find most often on work sites, but since they give off such intense heat, they typically require eight feet of clearance.

Helpful Guidelines for Temporary Heaters

Proper clearance is a good first step, but it’s not the only point to consider when using a temporary heater. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

Use units approved by a recognized safety organization

Only use units that are officially “listed” or “approved” by a recognized testing organization, such as UL/ULC or CSA.

Follow the manufacturers guidelines

Temporary heaters should be used for their intended purpose only, and installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Ask your Broker!

Call your Broker. Your insurance policy can contain exclusions, limitations and warranties that can at worst Void your coverage if you use a heater you have warranted against. Call us if you have questions.

Add a safe operation procedure to your safety manual

If you do not have a safety manual you should. Employees should be trained on safety processes and be aware of what to do in the event of an accident or injury. If you would like a starting point for your safety manual please click the contact us button at the bottom of this page to request one.

Check the data plate for clearance information

Make sure to follow all of the specifications for clearance and ventilation.

You can also consider other types of temporary and portable heaters that may be safer to operate, like indirect-fired heaters, which are located outside the building. They require electricity to run and may not be as efficient as your salamander heaters, but they can be a good choice if you’re particularly concerned about ventilation and fire safety.

Risk Management Resources

As your commercial insurance broker we are here to help manage your risk. We have added a selection of risk management tools to help assess your risk for this featured coverage as well as to help implement techniques to help manage your risk and prevent claims from happening in the first place.    To request a resource that you do not see please click contact us so we can work on getting what you need to help manage your risk.

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