Portable Space Heaters

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Policy No: 2006
Effective Date: 08/24/09
Revised Date: 12/02/21
Reviewed Date: 12/02/21

Portable Space Heaters Policy

Basis of Policy

The purpose of this policy is to promote safety by defining the proper use of space heaters. Space heaters pose several hazards to include fire hazards, electrical overloads, or causing burns.


Portable space heaters are prohibited from use on campus. Approval of supplemental heating will be made on a case-by-case basis if systems cannot meet the temperature ranges outlined in The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy.


Contact UNMC Facilities to discuss areas that may need supplemental heating. The only exception is a personal warmer that is designed to warm the area surrounding your legs and feet. These approved units use approximately 100-200 watts of power. They must be plugged directly into a receptacle that has ample power capacity to carry the load. They must not be plugged into extension cords or power strips. Nebraska Medicine Safety Operations must approve any of these units which may be used in buildings that house or care for patients.

Background Information

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, addresses "thermal comfort" in an office environment, which means that an employee wearing a normal amount of clothing feels neither too cold nor too warm. This standard specifies conditions or comfort zones where 80% of sedentary or slightly active persons find the environment thermally acceptable. This standard discusses thermal comfort within the context of air temperature, humidity, and air movement and provides recommended ranges for temperature and humidity that are intended to satisfy the majority of building occupants. These ranges vary for cold and hot weather. ASHRAE addresses ventilation and the removal of air contaminants in a separate standard, ASHRAE Standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.

Additional Information

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