Improper Use of Space Heater Causes Property Loss

Loss Amount: $400,000

Situation: A fire broke out inside the office area of a business, damaging much of the property and equipment. An investigation revealed that a space heater had been placed under a desk close to stacks of paper and other records, igniting the combustible material. The employee left work for the day without turning off the heater, and the fire broke out while he was gone.

In this case, the space heater was an older unit without many of the safety features required of the latest models.

Lesson Learned:

  • It’s best to avoid using space heaters of any kind. Correct any heating and ventilation issues with adjustments to the building’s thermostat or heating and ventilation system before a space heater is used.
  • Discourage employees from bringing space heaters from home. If one is essential, be sure you choose a model that is equipped with the latest safety features such as UL listed tip-over shut-off switches, and self-regulating heat output safeguards.
  • Educate employees to the hazards and proper use of space heaters. Require that they maintain adequate clearance around heaters at all time, and that heaters and other electrical equipment are turned off before leaving the office.

For further assistance in preventing all types of losses, call VISC at 888.762.3143.