How to Safely Warm up Your Cubicle in a Drafty Workplace
February 27, 2017
Is there a chill in the air that just won’t go away? If you’re looking to warm up a cubicle or other small area of an office, one option is an office-friendly portable space heater.
In any office, there's that one spot that no matter how warm or cool it is outside, it's always cold due to the way the drafts run through the building. When your desk area is affected, you're always trying to find ways to stay warm and comfortable so you can work efficiently without your teeth chattering. Even if you keep a sweater at your desk and a pair of warm fuzzy socks, on some days, those extras just aren’t enough. This is when it's time for an [office space heater].
However, beyond must-have design elements such as low profile and low noise, safety is the primary focus when using a space heater in an office or elsewhere. In 2014, space heaters were responsible for almost a third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of deaths from those fires, according to USA Today. Here are some tips to stay safe while staying warm and productive in your corner of the workplace.
Keep Your Space Organized
It only takes one rogue piece of paper landing on your space heater to start an office fire. Maintaining an organized desk with space to store and sort all of your paperwork and work files is key to keeping it that way. [Desk organizers] come in all shapes and sizes to meet your needs, from trays to store paperwork you're currently working on to binders and filing cabinets to store completed jobs. You need to maintain the flow of paperwork crossing your desk by dealing with it immediately or placing it in a safe place until you're ready to work on it. Keeping your desk organized helps protect against an accidental fire while also helping to improve your productivity.
Tuck Personal Items Out of the Way
After arriving in the morning, you throw your coat over the back of your chair and start your workday. You likely move your chair around increasing the chance that the arm of your coat can come in contact with your space heater and start a fire. Instead of ever letting this happen, why not integrate a coat rack or other type of storage? This way you can hang up your coat and store other personal items in order to keep them out of the way. Use this coat rack or a cabinet-style storage unit to stow your coat, spare sweater, umbrella on a rainy day, as well as your purse or briefcase. Designated storage helps to prevent these items from accidentally ending up too close to your heater.
Surges, Overloads and Turning the Heat Off at the End of the Day
If your desk is already crowded with electronics that require power, you need a [power strip] with enough outlets to accommodate everything in your space, from a computer and printer to a radio and space heater. Use caution plugging too many items into only one strip, including a space heater, because space heaters draw a lot of power. Be sure to get a strip that can handle the load so it doesn't short out and create a fire hazard.
Another thing to consider when selecting a power strip is surge protection. You want to find one with built-in surge protection to help limit the chance of a fire with a space heater. When spring showers bring lightning, you want to know your space heater won't overload and catch fire from a surge in electricity.
Get in the habit of turning your space heater off before you leave work each day. Make it part of your routine. Shut down your computer, turn off your space heater and double check that you have your phone before grabbing your coat and heading home for the evening. You never want to leave a space heater running unattended in your office. Make sure to also turn it off before lunch or when going to a meeting.
You don't have to suffer in the cold when your desk is in the middle of a draft. Use a low-profile space heater to make you more comfortable and productive. Just remember to follow basic safety rules to avoid an accidental fire.