While many restaurants and salons are offering patio and outdoor services during the pandemic, the Orange County Fire Authority
(OFCA) is reminding businesses to take precautions when using portable and gas-fired heaters.
OCFA developed this guide based on regulations of the California Fire Code (CFC) and California Code of Regulations (CCR), which affect businesses.
First and foremost, always follow the manufacturer’s product safety and use requirements.
All portable heaters used in a business must be a UL listed for commercial use (CFC 603.4.2.2.1). Guards and tip-over protections are required.
Portable gas-fired heaters may only be used outside in well-ventilated areas. (See manufacturer’s specifications for distance from umbrellas.) Prohibited outside locations include:
• Inside of tents, canopies and other membrane structures.
• Within 5 feet of buildings
• Within 5 feet of combustibles
• Within 5 feet of exits or exit discharges
• On exterior balconies
As for propane tanks, those must only be stored outside, with the following separations:
• 5 feet from a building with two means of egress
• 10 feet from a building with one means of egress
• 10 feet from combustible materials