Health & Safety

October 12, 2012

With a chill in the air, winter is around the corner

Thomas Woods
Edwards AFB Fire Protection Branch

With the recent drops in temperature, it is clear winter will soon be upon us. Now is the time to prepare for the winter ahead and know a few simple safety precautions to prevent fire from striking our homes or work places.

More than 5,000 people die each year in the United States from injuries sustained in fires. Most of these deaths occur during the winter. The reasons often include carelessly using home heating equipment and storing flammable and combustible materials improperly.

With this in mind we here at the Fire Protection Branch urge you to take a close look at any portable heating appliances that may be in the workplace or in use at home. Heaters should be in good condition and used in a manner they were intended for.

Some of the requirements for use of portable heaters in the workplace are as follow:

  • Use of portable heaters must be approved by the unit commander, the Fire Department, and civil engineering must ensure the electric circuitry is adequate
  • Heaters must be approved for each location. If a heater is moved it must go through the approval process again
  • In the workplace, the use of heaters fueled by flammable or combustible liquids is prohibited
  • Heaters must be labeled by an approved testing laboratory such as Factory Mutual (FM) or Underwriters Laboratory (UL)
  • Portable heaters must be equipped with an automatic tip over switch to shut the unit off if it is knocked over
  • Heaters must have a minimum of 18 inches of clearance on all sides
  • DO NOT plug portable heaters into modular furniture. Most system furniture does not have electrical wiring designed to handle the eletrical load of a space heater
  • Portable heaters are prohibited in health care facilities, with the exception of non-sleeping staff and employee areas. When used in these areas the heating elements are limited to producing no more than 212 F. (Check the manufacturer’s label)
  • In the home, be aware of the following:
  • Change or clean the furnace filters as necessary, whenever a dust buildup occurs
  • Do not use rooms/closets with the furnace as storage areas, and do not place objects over or around the thermostat if that item might block the flow of air to the thermostat
  • Do not use portable heaters in an area such as a garage, that might have a buildup of gasoline vapors or other flammable vapors
  • Portable heaters that utilize flammable liquids for fuel, such as kerosene heaters present a very dangerous asphyxiation hazard. These heaters must be used in strict accordance with the manufacturers instructions. Do not ever utilize fuels other than those recommended by the manufacturer.

It is important we all do are part and know the requirements. Just this year, at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, attentive employees recognized that a space heater, which was accidentally knocked over, did not shut off. Upon further investigation they discovered the “tip over” weight was broke with burn marks, most likely due to electrical arcing.

Currently there is not an active recall for this type of heater but these are common on Edwards AFB and some of ours could have the same problem. The heater in question is a UL listed heater, Model 188T-ASA, 1500 watts and manufactured by T.P.I. Corporation.

If you find these types of heaters in your home or work space we strongly recommend you inspect it to ensure it works properly. At a minimum, turn it on and tip it on its side to confirm the automatic tip over switch is working properly.

In addition to the above tips, make sure all your smoke detectors are fully operational by testing them on a monthly basis.

Have a family evacuation plan in place and PRACTICE that plan before an emergency occurs. Don’t wait until you have a fire to find out that the plan doesn’t work. Never leave a fire unattended. Keep an extinguisher or a supply of sand on hand to control flames if the flames get too large. Read instruction on how to use your extinguisher properly and never apply water to a hot stove or chimney as thermal shock can cause damage.

To get assistance with this, or any other fire safety issue, call the Fire Protection Division’s Technical Services Section at (661) 277-3643/3124.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs September 26, 2014

Varicella vaccine available The 412th Medical Group Immunization Clinic now has the Varicella vaccine available for children 12 months and older who are TRICARE beneficiaries. The clinic is open 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and noon-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays. For questions or concerns, call the clinic at 661-277-3427.  Blood drive The next American...
 
 

When leaders earn their keep

It’s no secret that a key to being a good leader, military or otherwise, is taking care of your people. I strongly believe Airmen aren’t able to perform at their peak if their personal lives are in disarray. Whether financial woes, marital issues, illnesses or other troubles, it’s tough to be at your best when...
 
 
road-closure

Road closure in support of new bulk fuel storage construction

Beginning Oct. 6, barriers will be set across the intersection of S. Muroc Dr. and Wolfe Ave., and also across S. Muroc Drive and Sellar Ave. The closure is necessary to install a new eight-inch fuel line across South Muroc. Tr...
 

 
aafes-retirees

Edwards Exchange honors military retirees

To pay tribute to military¬†veterans’ enduring sacrifices, the Edwards Air Force Base Exchange will salute America’s 2.4 million military retirees with “Still Serving” events, a week of special savings a...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Local NCO honored by Dodgers

Courtesy photograph Tech. Sgt. Robert Sumner, 412th Security Forces Squadron, sits in the Los Angeles Dodgers dugout Aug. 23 before a game against the New York Mets. Sumner was honored as the Veteran of the Game that day. The L...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

Edwards Abilities Expo Oct. 9

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Michael Botte, 412th Communications Squadron Information Technology professional, initiates a call Sept. 22 via a video communication device. The video communication devices are provided throu...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>