Space Heaters Safety: 9 Space Heater Safety Tips For Your Church Staff

Are you worried about the safety of your church staff during the winter? If so, you are not alone.

Your church insurance provider and church insurance agent are also concerned about the safety of your church members and staff.

We want to help keep your ministry insurance costs down to a minimum. As church insurance brokers we provide valuable information on how to keep your community safe and help keep your building from burning down.

Keep reading to learn the nine space heater safety tips your church staff needs to know if you insist on buying a portable space heater.

Why Church Insurers Don't Like Space Heaters

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Why Church Insurers Don't Like Space Heaters

Church insurance companies are terrified over portable space heaters and for good reasons. Here are several reasons why church insurers hyperventilate over space heaters.

  • First, they pose a fire hazard. If not used properly, space heaters can start a fire that could quickly spread throughout the church, causing extensive damage.
  • Second, space heaters can be a trip and fall hazard. If someone trips over a space heater and falls, they could be seriously injured.
  • Third, space heaters can be an electrocution hazard. If someone comes into contact with a live wire on a space heater, they could be electrocuted.
  • Finally, space heaters can be a health hazard if they are not properly ventilated. If fumes from a space heater build up in an enclosed area, it could make people sick.

Make Electrical Safety a Church Priority When Using Home Space Heaters as a Heat Source in your Office

Churches need to focus on educating their members about the dangers of electrical hazards and fires. Churches should keep a Disaster Plan in place, have an emergency response plan, and train their staff on safety protocols.

Electrical equipment such as space heaters should be properly grounded, cords and wires properly protected, and all electrical equipment tested annually to ensure that it is working safely.

As church insurance brokers we have walked through many different churches and found all kinds of electrical issues. This includes exposed live wires, outlet covers removed, extension cords not secured to the ground, and more.

Electrical Safety a Church

Here are our Top 9 Space Heater Safety Tips for Churches

Space heaters are often used in churches to warm up the air during cold winter months. However, space heaters can also be dangerous if not used properly. Here are nine safety tips your church staff should know to avoid accidents and keep everyone safe:


1. Keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable objects

3-foot rule: Keep space heaters away from flammable objects like curtains, upholstery, and rugs. Make sure space heaters are secured on flat ground or a hardwood surface to prevent them from tipping or falling over.


2. Never, ever plug heaters into a power strip

Always plug your space heater directly into a wall outlet and avoid using an extension cord. Portable space heaters can generate up to 1,500 watts of power which can overload an extension cord or power strip.


3. Make sure there are safety features that include an automatic shut-off function

Make sure your space heater has an auto shut-off safety function to avoid any potential fire danger. The De’Longhi MicaThermic Panel Heater and Lasko Ceramic Space Heater include automatic shut-off.


These Shut-off features have a smart sensor that automatically shuts off when it overheats and a tip-over switch.


4. Place heaters away from water sources

Space heaters should not be placed near other electrical appliances or wet locations such as kitchens and bathrooms.


5. Make sure to have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarm

Test fire and carbon monoxide alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly and replace them if they’re older than 10 years.


6. Look out for signs of malfunction to help prevent space heater fires

If you have a space heater in your church office, it’s important to be aware of the potential for fire and electric shock. Look for signs of malfunction, such as sparks or smoke coming from the heater, and make sure to unplug it and contact a professional if you see anything out of the ordinary.


Taking these precautions can help prevent a space heater fire from starting at your church.


7. Keep space heaters out of reach of children

The NFPA’s 3-foot space rule applies to both people and pets. Some space heaters can be mounted on the wall for extra safety. It is vital to keep your space away from a hot space heater so no one is burned.


8. Make sure space heaters have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm and heat sensors

Make sure that your space heater has a functioning carbon monoxide alarm and heat sensors. Carbon monoxide is a gas that can be deadly if inhaled, so it’s important to have an alarm that will sound if there are high levels of the gas in your home.


Heat sensors are important because they will shut off the heater if it gets too hot, preventing fires. A space heater can malfunction and if you leave the room you will not be aware of the problem until it is too late.


9. Make sure the space heater power cord is not damaged

Using your space heater safely and avoiding using a damaged cord prior to use is critical in preventing electrical shock and fires.

Using Space Heaters Safely

How can I ensure my Church Staff is Using Space Heaters Safely?

Regular inspection and maintenance

Church staff need to be aware of the safety tips for using space heaters, and must take proper precautions to keep themselves and others safe. Annual inspections are necessary to ensure that the space heaters are in good working order and that any safety devices are functioning properly.


Shutting down the heater before cleaning ensures that there is minimal dust build-up, and vacuum cleaners or cloths can be used to clean the exterior.

In addition, it is important to turn off and unplug the heater when not in use, to reduce the amount of dust and allergens in the air.


Plug directly into an outlet

Use a space heater on a dedicated outlet and avoid using an extension cord. Plugging a space heater directly into an outlet is the safest way to use it.

A typical space heater generates up to 1,500 watts of power, which is too much for a power strip or extension cord.


We recommend not using any other electrical devices in combination with the space heater to prevent overheating of the electrical outlet.


Keep hot-to-touch heaters away from people and pets

Church staff should keep hot-to-touch heaters away from pets or children by using barriers to keep them away. Space heaters should not be placed in high-traffic areas to keep your space heater from falling over or burning people.


Hot-to-touch heaters emit extremely high levels of heat and can cause serious burns, so space heaters should be used in a well-ventilated area and children should be supervised when using them.


Make sure there’s an automatic shut-off function on your space heater

Make sure your space heater has an automatic shut-off function to avoid any accidents. This will ensure that the heater turns off automatically if it tips over or overheats, preventing any fires or other damage.


Don’t leave space heaters unattended

Church staff can use space heaters safely if they follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Space heaters should only be used when needed, and never left unattended while still running.


Turn the heater off before you leave the room and ensure it has cooled down to reduce the risk of fire.


Give your space heater space and stability

Keep a 3-foot space between your space heater and any flammable objects. Space heaters should be secured on flat, solid ground or a hardwood surface to prevent them from tipping over or falling.


While space heaters are a convenient source of supplemental heat they are dangerous and you should never leave a space heater on when not present.


Test your smoke detectors regularly

To ensure your smoke detectors are always working properly, it is important to test them monthly. Make sure to replace the batteries twice a year, and test your detectors monthly to be sure they are still in good working order.


It is vital to have working smoke alarms on every floor of your church building.

Common Mistakes People make when using Space Heaters

What are some Common Mistakes People make when using Space Heaters?

Not learning how a space heater works

If you don’t learn how a space heater works, you may end up failing to properly heat your home. Space heaters are an important part of keeping your home warm, but they can be dangerous if not used correctly. Make sure you read the instructions carefully and learn how to operate your space heater before using it.


Not following the manufacturer’s instructions when setting the temperature

Not following the manufacturer’s instructions when setting the temperature can be dangerous and lead to injury. Always make sure to read the instructions carefully before adjusting the temperature on any appliance.


Leaving space heaters unattended

If you leave your space heater running, it can pose a fire and burn hazard. Leaving a space heater running can also lead to dangerous consequences, such as overheating, tipping over, or short-circuiting. Always unplug your space heater when not in use and keep children and pets at least 3 feet away from it at all times.


Placing space heaters on top of a table

Space heaters should never be placed on top of a table or any other surface that is not level. If a space heater is placed on an unstable surface, it could tip over and start a fire. It is also important to keep space heaters away from flammable objects, such as curtains or clothing.


Not using enough caution when handling space heaters

If you’re not careful when handling space heaters, you could end up with serious burns. Always use caution when handling any kind of heating device, and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Never leave a space heater unattended, and make sure to keep children and pets away from them. Space heaters should only be used during the cold winter months when it is necessary.


Not properly securing space heaters to the ground

Space heaters should be securely anchored to the ground or a hard surface to prevent them from tipping over and causing fires. Space heaters should not be used near any combustible materials, regardless of whether they are electric or gas-powered.

Frequent asked questions faq

Frequently Asked Question About Space Heaters

What are space heaters?

A portable electric space heater is a device that emits heat to make the room warmer. They come in many different shapes and sizes and can be powered by gas, electricity, or oil.


Always check the Underwriters Laboratories label to make sure the space heater is safe. It is recommended to use a modern space heater and toss out old heaters that lack important features and safety devices.


What are the dangers of electric heaters?

Space heaters are responsible for countless fires each year. These fires lead to deaths and major destruction and no matter how new or safe people attempt to be the fire risk remains high.


Children playing too close to space heaters increases the dangers as parents and church staff get distracted which can result in a fire if children around the heater knock it over.


There are clear warning labels on each space heater but they quickly become forgotten and missed. If you use the heater to warm a space make sure you’re using them in a safe manner.


How can I test my space heater?

How to test your space heater:

  • Test the power cord by plugging it into an outlet and turning on the space heater.
  • Make sure that the firebox is clear of any flammable materials.
  • If you have electronic safety features, make sure it operates properly.
  • Follow all recommendations provided by the manufacturer.

How can I make my space heater safer?

To make your space heater safer, Church Staff should know the following safety tips:


  1. Install it on a flat, solid ground or hardwood surface to avoid tipping or falling.
  2. Never leave an unattended space heater running, and keep a timer in case someone is sleeping when the heater is on.
  3. Use radiator-style oil-filled space heaters instead of open-flame models.
  4. Have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, and be prepared to escape in case of a fire.
  5. Make sure the cord is regularly checked for damage, and never use an extension cord for safety reasons!
  6. Keep children and pets out of reach of a space heater by positioning it out of their reach properly.

Should I find a different heating option other than a space heater?

Yes! If this article has not made it clear, space heaters cause fires. Insurance companies do not want to insure buildings of churches that allow their staff to use these devices.


If you are looking for church insurance the insurance company will tell you to remove all space heaters and to no longer use them. If your current church insurance company does a risk assessment inspection, they will also require these devices to be removed.

We are Here to Help Secure Church Property Insurance

We have a wide range of church property insurance and church liability insurance options available and can tailor a policy to fit your specific needs.

Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive church insurance quote or just basic protection, we can help you find the right solution.

Integrity Now Insurance Brokers specialize in church insurance throughout the US. No matter if you are in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, or even Ohio we can help.

Give us a call today, and let us help you safeguard your church building insurance.

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