Tips for Improving Safety with Your Propane Construction Heaters
Safe Heater Placement
Your safety precautions should start with the placement of your propane construction heaters. First, you should place your heaters in an area where they won’t come in contact with combustible materials. Place your heaters on cement, ground outside of the building, or any other fire resistant material. Try to create a 4-foot by 4-foot square area where the heater won’t come into contact with flammable materials such as plywood and insulation.
Check Condition and Operation
Now that your heater is placed properly, you’ll need to make sure they’re in correct working order at all times. If at any time your heater won’t stay lit, doesn’t produce a spark or you smell gas, you should discontinue use until the problem is resolved.
If your construction heater is acting up, you can use some portable heater troubleshooting tips to help easily resolve the problem. If the issues persist, call your heater provider to come out and see what may be wrong with your equipment.
Keep Propane Tanks Upright and Dry
When choosing the placement of your propane tanks, no matter what size, make sure they are in an upright position. This is important because storing propane tanks upright will keep the relief valve in contact with vapor, preventing further risks.
Choose a flat and dry area that is firm and at least six feet from the heater itself. When I say dry area, I mean don’t put the tank in standing water. This could cause the tank to rust, which is something you’re going to want to avoid.
To keep you and your workers safe from harm, you’re also going to want to make sure you have proper ventilation in your heated space. Since these heaters are burning fuel, they are creating noxious fumes.
Properly trained service techs from your equipment rental company can instruct you on how to ventilate your heated space, but it’s also best practice to open windows around your jobsite to help ventilate.
Proper ventilation of your jobsite will also help reduce moisture from collecting in your construction site, so it’s a win-win situation. Moisture on your jobsite can cause mold growth over time, and can also lengthen the time it takes for paint and other materials to cure. For more info on how to properly ventilate your construction heaters on your job site, you can read our blog on preventing moisture on your construction site.
Fuel hoses can be a major cause of risk for construction heaters. Cracked, leaky or obstructed hoses can lead to accidents. To prevent fuel flow issues, don’t run hoses through non-secured doorways. This puts you at risk of pinching your hoses, which could damage or punctures. If your hose runs through a window, put a block on the windowsill to prevent the window from closing and pinching the hose. Also avoid exposing your hoses to extreme heat.
Don’t Use Propane Heaters to Dry or Warm Clothing
This may go without saying, but don’t use your construction heaters for any other purpose than heating your space. Don’t try to dry or warm articles of clothing on your heaters. While you may think it’s harmless to place your jacket on your heater, this is a major fire risk. Under no circumstance should you ever purposely place flammable objects near or on your propane heaters.
Propane construction heaters are a necessary part of running a jobsite in the winter months, but they do come with risks if used incorrectly. From the proper working condition of heaters, proper placement, ventilation and reducing fire risk, there is a lot you can do to mitigate your risks.
If you have any further questions about reducing risks when operating propane heaters on you construction site, do not hesitate to contact your heater rental provider. They can give you a more tailored assessment of the steps you should take.
On Site Companies is a construction equipment rental company out of St. Paul, Rochester and Mankato MN, and St. Louis MO. For more questions about propane construction heaters or renting heaters, call us at 1.800.210.8407 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.