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Oklahoma State University

Portable Space Heaters

Space Heater Request Procedures

The use of portable space heaters on the OSU campus is highly discouraged due to the increased risk of fire and energy required to operate. Portable space heaters should not be used to replace a buildings fixed heating system.


How to request an evaluation for the use a portable space heat

1. Submit a request through the Facilities Management Customer Portal.

  1. Problem code should be “Scheduling of Building Mechanical Systems, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) by Energy Managers”. 
  2. Request description should read “Evaluate office area for possible need for space heater.”
    1. Energy Management will evaluate work area and determine if heating conditions are within normal operating parameters.
    2. The request may then be forwarded to Facilities Management O&M to ensure that the buildings HVAC system is working properly.

2. If it is determined that the work area would require supplemental heating, the request will then be forwarded to Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to determine if it is safe to operate a portable space heater.

3. If the work area is determined safe for space heater operation and the proper space heater is obtained The University Fire Marshal will grant a permit for space heater operation.

  1. This permit will be issued for a 6 month period.
  2. This permit could be revoked at any time due to non-compliance with the requirements listed below.


Portable space heater requirements:

1. Portable space heaters are not allowed in residence halls.

2. They must be UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed, or FM (Factory Mutual) approved.

3. Plugged directly into an approved wall receptacle.

           • The use of extension cords or surge suppressors are not authorized.

           • Receptacles installed in cubicles are not considered to be an approved wall receptacle.

4. Must be located more than 36 inches away from combustible materials such as paper, furniture, clothing, curtains, etc.

            • Zero clearance space heaters are preferred.

5. Must be located in plain sight and clearly visible on the floor.

6. Cannot be placed in a high traffic area.

7. The cord shall not be placed under carpets or paper, or across aisles or other walking paths.

8. Nothing shall be placed on the heater.

9. Can only use electric heaters; no gasoline, kerosene and propane heaters are permitted.

10. Heater must be capable of automatic shut-off if tipped over.

11. The heating element cannot exceed a temperature of 212*F (100*C).

12. Must be turned off and unplugged when the area is not occupied.

13. Must be inspected regularly by the operator for any damage to the unit or the cord.

14. All portable space heaters are subject to survey and approval by the University Fire Marshal or designee.


Environmental Health and Safety Department through the University Fire Marshal, reserve the right to inspect and declare any space heater "unapproved" if it creates a hazard or is inappropriate for a particular location based on specific circumstances, codes, and/or legal requirements.


Exceptions can be granted to accommodate medical conditions that would require supplemental heating.