Check out equipment rebates in latest issue of Propane Matters

Worksite Temporary Heating Safety Tips

Stay safe and warm when on the job with these key pointers for proper propane use

temp heat Port Jervis, ny The recent national construction boom has been good for Orange County, New York — but completing projects here can be more difficult during the colder months. Ice can form inside pipes, and temperature fluctuations between day and night can cause plaster, cement, drywall mud and paint to crack or fracture.

Materials, equipment, structures and construction processes can all become compromised in less than ideal conditions — and workers can find it difficult to be productive when it’s freezing outside.

The benefits of worksite temporary heating

Having a safe, dependable, temporary heat source on the jobsite during the winter helps:

  • Keep conditions warm and safe for workers, protecting them from hypothermia and frostbite and making it easier for them to be productive
  • Prevent ice crystals from forming in concrete and bricks
  • Keep pipes from freezing and bursting
  • Provide the right temperatures needed for paint, spackle and drywall mud application
  • Thaw the ground for easier excavation and concrete pouring/curing

Why propane-powered temp heat?

Experts recommend propane for use in temporary heating for construction sites [LINKS TO] because it:

  • Generates a lot of heat, with an average output of 91,452 Btu per gallon
  • Serves as a greener source of energy, producing reliable heat while keeping the air cleaner thanks to its lower carbon intensity score compared to diesel or gasoline
  • Is better for air quality because it emits no methane, almost no particulate matter and very little nitrogen or sulfur oxide
  • Is more affordable than diesel and gasoline because it’s largely made in America and insulated from wildly fluctuating global energy markets

Temp heat safety is key

While these advantages make propane-powered temp heating an attractive option for contractors, it’s essential to make sure everyone working onsite has been educated and trained in propane safety.

The best way to do that is to contact your local temporary heating sales and rental provider [LINKS TO] for a consultation. Responsible temp heating companies will help you determine the right equipment for your specific project needs and offer assistance and resources for optimal safety.

Top safety tips for responsible worksite temporary heating

As a construction project manager looking for temporary heating solutions for your jobsite, you should work with your supplier to be sure that:

  • You have the right temporary heater size and type [LINKS TO] for the space you’re heating
  • Your temporary heaters have a 100% safety shutoff valve and are equipped with such safety features as built-in sensors, flame failure detection and automatic shut-off mechanisms
  • You’ve inspected all temporary heating equipment and propane cylinders to confirm that parts are in working order and not damaged
  • You’ve read and re-read the operating manual and required that everyone who will be working near the equipment does the same
  • The space you’re heating has adequate ventilation to prevent dangerous, deadly carbon monoxide buildup
  • You’re following OSHA regulations, which require a minimum of 1 to 3 feet of clear space around all temporary heaters
  • No combustible materials are placed anywhere near temporary heaters
  • Temporary heaters are placed on level surfaces (and never on hardwood floors)
  • You’ve implemented temperature monitoring systems to keep track of ambient and surface temperatures — especially in critical zones like areas where concrete is curing — to ensure that temperature requirements are consistently met

Helpful video resources

To supplement these tips, The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), a nonprofit organization providing leading propane safety and training programs, provides a quick refresher in its “December Safety Minute: Propane in Construction” video.

This one-minute video contains reminders to doublecheck that the following questions have been addressed:

  • Are adequate protections in place to prevent construction vehicles that are constantly moving around the site from damaging the propane containers, gas piping or any other propane equipment?
  • Are portable propane cylinders placed on a secure base to protect them from tipping over if the ground freezes and then thaws?
  • Are the correct number of small indoor cylinders installed, and is there sufficient spacing between them?
  • Have all contractors and subcontractors received adequate education and training about the safe use of propane on the jobsite?

Let us help keep your jobsite safe

To minimize risks, it’s always advisable to contact your propane supplier if you’re not sure about anything involved with temporary heating systems. And because moving large propane tanks involves some inherent safety risks, it should only be done by someone who’s extensively qualified.

That’s where A.C. Howell comes in. As a fourth-generation family-owned business with deep roots in the community, we stay on top of industry advances to provide safe, dependable temp heat rental services, propane delivery, equipment installation, leasing and monitoring. We serve business customers throughout Orange County, including West Point, Newburgh, Warwick, Wurtsboro and Point Jervis.

We can help you add safe, convenient, temporary propane heating to your construction projects — making your workers more comfortable and productive while reducing your project’s energy costs! Contact us today to let us know how we can best address your construction site’s temporary heating needs.