Weekly Safety Tip: Heating Devices – Portable Heaters

As winter and colder weather approach, the use of portable heaters increases. Electric or gas heaters are very handy to supplement insufficient heat in homes and other areas; however, they can create hazards if not used properly. Without careful monitoring, heaters can create an electric shock hazard, burns to users, carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, or possibly even explosions.

Recent information from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

  • Approximately one-third of residential building portable heater fires occur in bedrooms; almost one quarter of these are started in bedding.
  • Half of residential building portable heater fires result because the heat source is too close to combustible materials.
  • More portable heater fires occur in residential buildings during the month of February than any other month.

Heater selection:

  • When purchasing a portable heater (gas or electric) be sure that it is an approved model from a recognized testing laboratory, such as Underwriters’ Laboratories.
  • Assure that it has a safety “automatic turn-off device” that will turn the heater off if it is accidently tipped over or if overheating occurs.

Heater placement:

  • Choose a heater with a low center of gravity and place it on a level surface.
  • Place the heater and electrical cord out of the main traffic area of a room so they do not become a trip hazard.
  • Keep children and pets away from heaters to avoid burns.
  • Don’t place in locations that are normal paths of travel.
  • Maintain at least 36 inches between the heater and any flammable material including beds, clothing, furniture, curtains, or other flammable materials.
  • Never drape or lay materials, such as wet clothing, over a space heater.
  • Never leave a portable heater unattended.
  • Turn off and unplug heaters when leaving the area.
  • Always turn portable heaters off when you go to sleep.


  • Provide proper ventilation:
  • Follow all manufacturer warnings and instructions.
    • Fuel-burning heaters require ventilation to prevent the buildup of flammable gases and vapors.
    • The accumulation of poisonous carbon monoxide is a concern with heaters that burn fuels.
  • Make sure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are installed in critical locations throughout the home or work area and test them periodically.

Electrical safety:

  • Maintain and inspect the equipment to detect problems, like poor connections or electrical wire damage.
  • Make sure that the circuits providing electricity to the heater are not overloaded.

Never use a heater in the following places:

  • Where it can ignite combustible or flammable materials.
  • Paper, wood debris, cardboard, and even frayed curtains or carpets can ignite if they are placed too close.
  • In an area where there might be a possibility of an explosive atmosphere.
  • In a wet environment or where moisture may be prevalent.
  • For electric heaters, moisture or water presents an additional risk for electrical shock.

Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when operating a portable heater.

Questions? Dennis.Rasley@desales.edu

Campus Store Four-Day Sale and Other Specials

The DeSales Campus Store is having a four-day sale from October 17-20, both in store and online. During this sale, save 25% off DeSales Under Armour clothing! Also, 25% off Logo brand blankets. The bookstore will have extended hours, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., on Saturday, October 19, for Family Weekend.

We also have a couple of autumn specials going on now. $17.95 crewneck sweatshirts  and brand new $27.95 sherpas (both by MV Sport). Stop in or shop online @ www.desalesshop.com.

Questions? Joseph.Judge@desales.edu

Tomorrow: DeSales University & Cops ‘n’ Kids Children’s Literacy Program Book Fair

The Cops ‘n’ Kids of DeSales club will be collecting donations at the Barnes & Noble at the Promenade this Saturday, October 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. With the purchase of any item in store, a certain amount of the proceeds will benefit the nonprofit organization. You can also purchase books that go directly to the children of the Lehigh Valley. Shop online from October 19 to October 24 using the book fair code: 12552881. Families can also join the volunteers at Barnes & Noble to enjoy a Halloween-themed scavenger hunt bingo, a craft activities table, story telling, and face painting! All information is available through Engage.

Questions? tr8246@desales.edu

Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, to Direct Salesian Retreat

The Salesian Center for Faith & Culture will host a Salesian Retreat featuring visiting artist Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, and special guest, Damian Costello, Ph.D., who will speak about Lakota Indian spirituality. The event will take place in the Gambet Center Auditorium on Saturday, October 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is free and open to the public … lunch is included! Register today, space is limited.


Questions? lore.mcfadden@desales.edu

Learn CPR & Save a Life

Heartsaver CPR classes will be offered on the following dates:

October 25: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
November 15: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
December 6: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
January 31: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
February 21: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
March 20: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
April 17: 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room
May 1: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Dorothy Day Student Union Kender Room

If interested, please contact the Emergency Services Department at 610.282.1100, ext. 1779, or safety@desales.edu.

*These classes are free of charge for all employees and students*

Campus Emergency Alert Systems Test, 10/22

The DeSales University Emergency Services Department will be conducting a University-wide test of our campus emergency alert systems on Tuesday, October 22, 2019. The test will begin at 10:50 a.m. and will conclude at 11:10 a.m. All components of the Campus Emergency Alert System (CEALS) will be activated during this test, i.e. e2Campus, Big Voice, and the Visiplex system currently installed in all academic/administrative buildings and the University Villages.

If you have not yet signed up for the e2Campus system, please sign up. If you have previously signed up for the service, you do not need to sign-up again.

Please send all feedback on the test to Dennis Rasley, director of emergency services, at dennis.rasley@desales.edu or ext. 1513.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation in making DeSales University a safer place for our faculty, staff, and students.