Is Your Office Heater Safe?

If you have a portable heater in your office, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s safe for use by staff or visitors. How can you be sure that your office heater is safe?

We’ve all had that feeling — when you pull a heater out of a cupboard in the office, wipe the dust off it, and wonder if it’s safe. But how can you really tell if your office heater is safe to use? The first thing to check is if the heater has been tested and tagged.

What is testing and tagging?

Testing and tagging is the process of testing portable appliances to ensure that they are safe to use. It involves checking the appliance for visible damage and then testing the appliance using a Portable Appliance Tester. Testing and tagging can only be conducted by an appropriately trained technician.

How can I tell if the heater has been tested and tagged?

If your heater has been tested and tagged, it will have a tag attached to it (often around the power cord). The tag will tell you when the appliance was last tested, who tested it, the results of the test and when it is next due to be tested. If the due date for the next test and tag is in the future, then the tag is still current. If the due date has passed, then the appliance should be retested before you use it again.

My heater has a current tag. Is it safe to use?

Just because your heater is carrying a tag showing that its test and tag status is still current, that doesn’t automatically mean that it’s safe to use. Why? Because appliances can get damaged after testing and tagging occurs. So, if your heater has been in the cupboard and hasn’t been used for a few months (or longer), it’s important to perform a visual check of the heater even if it is carrying a current tag.

How do I check my heater visually?

Conduct a visual check of your heater by examining it for any signs of visible damage. This could include:

  • Damage to the power plug;
  • Frayed power cords;
  • Visible discolouration of any plastic covering;
  • Dents and dings in the heater;
  • Bent guards; or
  • Visible damage to any heating elements.

If your heater has any visible signs of damage, don’t use it as it could pose an electrical risk. Get the heater checked by an expert technician who can test and tag it again before you attempt to use the appliance. Jim’s Test & Tag Melbourne conduct testing and tagging services for all portable appliances including heaters. They have a mobile service and will provide you with a free quote, phone 13 15 46 for more information. 

Other safety tips for operating heaters

Once you’ve established that your office heater is safe to use, then it’s important to also use it safely. Here are five tips for the safe operation of heaters in your office:

  1. Make sure the power cord doesn’t cause a trip hazard. Don’t stretch power cords across walkways or run them across any area that could cause a trip hazard for you or someone else.
  2. Turn off and unplug the heater when it’s not in use. Always turn the heater off when it’s not in use and unplug it from the wall socket.
  3. Never leave a heater unattended. If you’re popping out of the office for an errand or a meeting, turn the heater off and unplug it — no matter how long you’re going to be. Unattended heaters are a potential fire risk.
  4. Never drape anything over a heater. Don’t cover the heater with anything – even for a short period of time. It’s a fire hazard.
  5. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to use your heater.

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