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Fire Marshal FAQs

Q: Am I allowed to use a space heater?

A: In January 2007, President Albrecht signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, USU Policy 525. 

This policy bans the personal use of space heaters unless you have written permission from the appropriate dean or vice president.

If you have permission to use a space heater from the dean or vice president, be sure to use the correct type of space heater approved by the Fire Marshal's office, and USU Risk Manager's office.

USU Space Heater Advisement

Effective Date 9-17-2010 

  1. PURPOSE

Personal space heater usage in an office environment increases the risk of fire[1] and utility demand, as well as causes improper operation of the heating and air conditioning systems. 

  1. ADVISEMENT

The use of personal space heaters will only be permitted in USU buildings if they are of the approved types. 

Approved specifications and safety features for acceptable space heaters in USU owned and leased property (Must meet all criteria below):

a.  The space heater selected shall have a U.L. listing.[2]

b.  Only ceramic element and oil filled space heaters will be permitted.

c.  The heater shall not exceed 1000 watts at its highest setting.

d.   It shall have a self limiting element temperature setting for the ceramic elements.

e.   It shall have a tip-over safety device.

f.   Built in timer for hours of operation (time not to exceed 8 hours per setting).

g.   Programmable thermostat built into the space heater.

h.   Overheat protection (Thermal limiter).

No open element or metallic element heaters will be allowed in USU owned and leased property.

No fuel fired heater, kerosene or propane, will be allowed in USU owned and leased property.

It is important to note that the Fire Code does not permit space heaters to be plugged into extension cords or breakered outlet strips/surge protectors, rather requires them to be plugged directly into a receptacle. 

Space heaters still account for 40 percent of the deaths and 30 percent of the injuries each year in this country that are heating related, according to the U.S. Fire Administration Consumer Reports

Only listed and labeled portable electric space heaters shall be used [IFC 605.10.1].

Propane- and kerosene-fueled heaters are prodigious heat producers. But because of their open flames, the risk of carbon-monoxide poisoning, and the hazard associated with handling the fuel, it's best not to use fuel heaters indoors.

Q: I burned something in my oven that created a lot of smoke, but the smoke detector did not work. Is there something wrong with it?

A: No. In many of the dorm kitchen areas, heat detectors have been installed, due to many false alarms from burnt popcorn, etc. The heat detectors are not activated by smoke, but by a certain amount of heat, like the heat generated in a fire.

Q: Am I allowed to have a BBQ grill?

A: Yes. In dorm areas, considered multi-family dwellings, you are allowed to have and store up to one (1) 5 lb. propane cylinder outside of the dwelling, such as on the back porch. These are available at many locations in Logan.

In all cases, when you are using your grill, it must be at least 10 feet away from any structure.

Q: Can we get a permit for a bonfire?

A: No. The Utah State Fire Marshal's office has banned all bonfires, recreational fires, and any open burning on any state owned property. All USU property is owned by the State of Utah, and this ban applies to all USU property.

Q: Am I allowed to use fireworks?

A: For a reasonable amount of time around the fourth of July, you are permitted to use fireworks at an approved location, and can only use fireworks that do not leave the ground, and do not report with a bang. The approved location is in the Romney Stadium parking lot to the west of the stadium. Please use an area that is 50 feet from any vehicles, combustibles, etc. There are no other permitted areas on the USU campus.

Q: I understand that candles are not allowed on campus, am I allowed to use a candlewarmer instead?

A: As of September 2007, the use of candle warmers have been banned by the Utah State Risk Manager's office on all USU owned and leased property.