Changes to ANAD personal heater policy
By Michael Payne, ANAD Fire PreventionAugust 20, 2020
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- In about a month, the seasons will change and the air temperature will begin to get cooler.With this change in temperature, many Anniston Army Depot employees like to use portable heaters in their work area.This is allowable in certain work areas and under certain conditions.For employees who wish to purchase their own heater, ANAD Regulation (AR 420-6) requires the following:• The portable heater must be Underwriter Laboratories listed.• The unit must have built-in tip-over protection.• The unit must have a controllable thermostat.• The heater must have a three-foot clearance, which must be maintained at all times.• Personnel must always be present while the heater is in operation.• The heater must be plugged directly into a wall outlet.A Fire Safety Bulletin will be sent out to the workforce in the next few weeks detailing this information.Please ensure the information on the bulletin is reviewed and the included training roster is signed prior to using your heater.The safety bulletin will replace the past practice of needing a hot work permit to use a personal heater.Heaters will be checked by a fire protection specialist during your building’s routine inspections.Please note: heaters being used in a way not recommended by the manufacturer and by not following the guidelines above pose a significant fire hazard.As firefighters and fire protection specialists, fire prevention is always on our minds. We hope you use these tips, not only here at Anniston Army Depot but also at home.Remember, prevention is key.If you have questions, contact the Fire prevention Office at Ext. 4862.Facts on heating equipment firesfrom the National Fire Prevention AssociationBetween 2011 and 2015, heating equipment was involved in an estimated 54,030 reported U.S. home structure fires, with associated losses of 480 civilian deaths, 1,470 civilian injuries and $1.1 billion in direct property damage.These fires accounted for 15 percent of all reported home fires.Based on the 2011-2015 annual averages:• Space heaters, whether portable or stationary, accounted for just over two of every five (43%) home heating fires and four out of five (85%) home heating fire deaths.• Placing things that can burn too close to heating equipment or placing heating equipment too close to things that can burn, such as upholstered furniture, clothing, mattresses or bedding, was the third leading factor contributing to ignition in fatal home heating fires and accounted for more than half (53%) of home heating fire deaths.• Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.NOTE: Remember it’s almost time to check, test your smoke detector and change the batteries. A good rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your smoke detectors when the time changes. We “fall back” on Nov. 1.