Portable Heaters – What is the issue?
Portable or transportable heaters are in common use, particularly in commercial premises, to supplement existing fixed heating systems or for use on days when the weather is cold.
Portable heaters are more likely to cause fires than fixed heating system,s as they introduce fuel hazards, open flames, or hot surfaces, often in the presence of combustible construction materials or contents.
UK Fire Statistics show that over 800 fires in commercial buildings are caused annually by space heating appliances.
What is it?
A portable heater is any form a heating which is not fixed to your building and not running off the mains electrics or gas.
If you must use portable heaters, it is not recommended that you use space heaters or anything which uses a naked flame to heat.
Small electrical plug-in oil-filled radiators are the next best alternative to fixed heaters.
Never use a portable heater within 2m of any combustible materials. Fire can be caused by paper, clothing or similar items placed on top of, or against the hot surface of the heater
What is the relevance to my insurance?
As a tenant or owner occupier of commercial premises, using portable heaters in your premises is something that you need to tell your insurer about. This is because of the increased fire risk that they pose.
All insurers require confirmation of the heating methods that you use in your premises.
If you use portable heating methods some insurers may refuse cover, or strict conditions will apply around where and how they can be used.
If you don’t inform your insurer, they could refuse to cover your fire claim resulting from the use of the portable heater.
What are the regulations?
There are no specific regulations regarding which portable heaters to purchase or use in your premises.
All portable heaters should be PAT tested as required.
What do I need to do?
Look to install or improve existing mains heating sources where possible.
Make sure your tenant is aware of the risks of using portable heaters in your premises.
Speak to Castlemead if you have any queries on how this or other conditions or warranties in your Small Print may affect your ability to claim in the event of a problem.
Founded in 1987, Castlemead Insurance Brokers is an independent commercial insurance broker, specializing in Corporate Insurance, offering a full insurance broking and risk management service to our clients. Offices in the South-West of England, with clients across the UK, including Scotland and Channel Islands. Castlemead are experts in International Insurance Programmes and are partner members of the GBN Insurance network. We also have an EU subsidiary to aid placing insurance policies with modest EU Insurance risk