Fort Huachuca -- Space heater safety is paramount on Fort Huachuca with the winter months approaching.

"If you have a space heater in an office area, we need [inspect] it," said Bradley Nicholson, chief, Fire and Emergency Services. "Make sure where you are going to put it, how you're going to use it.

"Our big concerns are primarily three things. Number one is tip over protection. Number two is electrical only. No coal or any other fuel type units. And no extension cords."

Space heater use is a popular way to supplement central heating in offices on Fort Huachuca. The dangers come from improper use and ignoring safety warnings for using the devices.

A checklist from the Fire Prevention Office recommends only buying a model that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory, such as UL, ETL or FM. Heaters must have a thermostat and overheat protection feature in addition to an automatic shut-off feature to turn the heater off if it is tipped over.

When using a space heater, keep the heater at least three feet away from anything that can burn. Place the heater on a solid, flat, non-combustible surface. Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic and never block an exit with a space heater.

Plug the space heater directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord. Extension cord wiring can overheat and cause fires through the cord and at the outlet in the wall.

Space heaters must be turned off and unplugged when you leave for the day. Heaters left unattended can cause extensive damage if they start a fire when they are unattended. Never operate a space heater that is damaged, or has damage to the cord or the plug of the unit.
All space heaters utilized in facilities on Fort Huachuca, with the exception of housing, must be inspected and approved by the Fire Prevention Office in accordance with Fort Huachuca Regulation 420-13.

Contact the Fire Prevention Office at 520.533.1870 or 1887 for questions regarding these requirements or if you require space heaters to be inspected.