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Fire Marshal's Office
Temporary Heaters Guidelines
Temporary Heaters Guidelines
LP Gas Salamander 2      LP Gas Salamander & Other Portable Heaters LP Gas Salamander 1
LP gas heaters (Salamanders) are very efficient in providing temporary heat on job sites, particularly when the size of the building makes other heaters impractical. They are portable, easy to set up, and very helpful in assisting certain construction applications to include drywall finishing. 

Fires that occur from LP gas salamanders or other temporary heating devices normally result from units that are placed too close to combustible materials (paper, wood, plastics, etc.), near flammable solvents, paints and heating devices that are not functioning, or set up properly.  


The Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code (VSFPC) does address the use of these devices and has specific code requirements related to their use under section 3303 of the VSFPC. 

  • Temporary devices shall be listed and labeled in accordance with the mechanical and fuel gas code. Installation, maintenance, and use shall be according to the terms of the listing.
  • LP gas heaters and fuel supplies shall comply with Chapter 61 of the VSFPC and the fuel gas code. (Cylinders shall be secured and heating device supply lines protected from damage that could result in potential leaks).
  • Refueling of liquid fueled shall be conducted when unit is cooled (section 3303.4 of the SFPC).
  • Clearance from combustibles shall be maintained in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations noted on the equipment label. Always maintain a minimum distance of at least three feet from any combustible materials and observe an overhead clearance of at least six feet to prevent fires; when in operation, temporary heating equipment shall be fixed in place and protected from damage, dislodgement, or overturning based on the manufacturer's instructions.
  • The use of these temporary heating devices shall be supervised and maintained by competent personnel. They should be as safe as the permanent installations. 
  • Temporary heating devices have a label indicating the manufacturer's guideline recommendations on its used and the distance requirements from combustibles.

If the use of these temporary heaters is found by fire department personnel or the fire marshal's office that are unattended, they will be immediately turned off and operations suspended until the above requirements are met. The use of these heating devices in any manner not consistent with the requirements as mentioned above will result in the issuance of a Notice of Violation to the appropriate contractor or subcontractor. If additional violations occur, it will result in the issuance of a Virginia Uniform Summons (VUS). Each offense of the VSFPC is a Class 1 misdemeanor and could result up to a $2500 fine and or up to 12 months in jail.


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