This week, many in Michiana went to great lengths to keep warm...But how many went too far?
If you, or someone you know, used a space heater at work,
odds are, a legal line was crossed.
The Indiana fire code prohibits the use of space heaters in public buildings.
The definition of public buildings covers most workplaces, including offices, retail establishments and banks.
Today it wasn't hard to find business breaking the rules,
whether intentionally or accidentally.
“Normally we can grin and bear it through the winter but it was rough this week,” said Lisa Vanhinbergen, who works in South Bend. “Anytime it's cold like this we just turn the heaters on, and hope that nobody comes by and sees.”
Over at the Hope Rescue Mission’s Family Life Center, the receptionist was using a space heater, although Karl Nichols claimed, “I didn't know it was against the ordinance, we knew to make sure it's safe on a powerful enough circuit that it doesn't blow a circuit And catch a fire anything like that.”
The fire department knows the rules are largely ignored.
Officials ask that anyone using a space heater follow some simple safety rules:
Put the heater in an open space, away from anything combustible.
Do not leave heaters on unattended.
Do not use an extension cord with a space heater.