The September heat is still blazing, but it's important to prepare now to keep warm in your office tomorrow. Last year's space heater approvals expire Sept. 30.

Space heaters are a hot commodity when the weather gets cold. Permits are required to run them at workspaces here on post, though, fire department representatives said.

"They can cause fires if they're not used appropriately," said Doug Christensen, fire department assistant chief. If near combustibles, the heaters can ignite surrounding objects. If they tip over, the area can go up in flames, he added.

Fort Jackson has a space heater program to combat this potential hazard.

Each space heater request must go through an approval process.

Requestors must request permission to have a heater through the Directorate of Public Works. If they're given the green light the request goes to the fire department to make the final call. It inspects the units to make sure they're up to code, Christensen said.

The process is application-based and ends with the fire department signing off on the usage, said fire inspector John-Mark Glaz.

For approval to be granted, the space heater must be UL listed -- meaning it's independently safety-certified -- and have tip over protection in all directions. It can't be fuel-fired, Glaz said. Only electric heaters are allowed, and they must be plugged directly into electrical outlets.

Space heaters are only permitted in locations of buildings that can't be adequately heated otherwise, as determined by the DPW.

Every year, the application process must be redone, said fellow fire inspector Kenny Morgan.

Unauthorized space heaters are required to be removed. Soldiers who don't adhere to these guidelines can be punished under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Christensen said.