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Fire Marshal FAQs

Am I allowed to use a space heater?

Only if you have written permission from your dean or vice president. In January 2007, President Alchrecht signed the American College and University President's Climate Commitment, now USU Policy 525. 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 and USU Risk Manager's office. Space heaters still account for 40 percent of the deaths and 30 percent of the injuries that are heat related each year in this country according to the U.S. Fire Administration Consumer Reports

All space heaters must meet the following requirements:

  • Ceramic element and oil filled.
  • Cannot exceed 1000 watts at its highest setting.
  • A self limiting element temperature setting for the ceramic elements.
  • A tip-over safety device.
  • Built-in timer for hours of operation (time not to exceed 8 hours per setting).
  • Programmable thermostat built into the space heater.
  • Overheat protection (Thermal limiter).

No open-element or metallic-element heaters will be allowed in USU owned and leased property, and 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. they should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle. 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.

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

Probably not. In many of the dorm kitchen areas, heat detectors, not smoke detetectors, 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.

I life in a residence hall on campus. What are the rules on using a grill?

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

Can we get a permit for a bonfire?

No. The Utah 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.

Am I allowed to use fireworks?

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

I understand candles are not allowed on campus. Am I allowed to use a candlewarmer?

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