Space Heaters (AP-03-104)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-03-104
Effective: July 15, 2009
Revision: May 2013
Review: 3 years

Space Heaters

Maintained by: Risk Management
Approved by: Chancellor
Next Review Date: May 2016

Printable PDF version


The use of space heaters on the UW-River Falls is not allowed due to risk of fire and concerns for energy consumption. Space heaters create an energy drain because the heat produced in one area upsets normal operation of building HVAC systems causing uncomfortable conditions for others.


The University responsibility for this policy lies with the Risk Management Officer and Executive Director for Facilities Planning and Management.
The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.
The ACBF is responsible for the administration of this policy. Request an exception to this policy by writing to

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Failure to adhere to the provisions of this policy may result in appropriate disciplinary action as provided under existing procedures applicable to students, faculty, and staff, and/or civil or criminal prosecution.


To utilize a space heater for temporary, supplemental heat, all of the following requirements are mandatory:

  1. Unit must be approved by the Facilities Management staff.
  2. Unit can only be used in an office space.
  3. Unit must be continuously supervised by office space “owner.” Do not leave the unit “on” when the office is unoccupied under any circumstances.
  4. Space heaters must be kept at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials such as files, curtains, plastic storage bins, and waste baskets.
  5. Unit must be a “Listed Heater” with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (look for the UL Listing symbol on the bottom or the back of the unit).UL logo
  6. Unit must be plugged directly into a hard-wired electrical wall outlet (no extension cords or power strips under any circumstance). The facilities maintenance employee will check to ensure the electrical circuit will not become overloaded.
  7. Unit must have a thermostat that shuts off the unit when a certain temperature is reached.
  8. Unit must have a safety tip-over switch to turn the unit off if it is tipped over.
  9. Heating element must not exceed 212° F.
  10. Heater must not exceed 1000 watts.
  11. Portable electric space heaters shall be turned off and unplugged when not in use and at the end of each business day.

University Responsibilities

All staff and students must adhere to this policy.

Department/Unit Responsibilities

This policy will be enforced by Risk Management in cooperation with Facilities Management and in accordance with the following:

  1. Any portable space heaters found to be in violation of the requirements of this policy will be subject to immediate removal.


Per the State of Wisconsin Energy Use Policy, thermostats should be set at 68 degrees in the winter. In the event of an extreme comfort concern for an office occupant regarding their office temperature, submit a work order to Facilities Management to resolve the problem (Go to: or call x. 3827). If Facilities Management determines that it is necessary to allow a space heater for temporary, supplemental heat until the comfort concern can be permanently resolved, it is essential to ensure the safe and responsible use of the portable space heater in order to reduce the risk of fire. Only space heaters approved by the Facilities Management staff can be used.


Please direct questions about this policy to