Recently, the management at my workplace distributed a list of expectations, or do’s and don’ts. It covers just about everything, such as ‘do’ get to work on time and ‘don’t’ take a vacation day after a holiday weekend. ‘Do’ recycle papers and ‘don’t’ leave your food for extended periods in the employee break room. And since the weather has turned cooler, there was also list for space heater use. Many of us keep an electric space heater nearby for extra cold days. Many items on the list make perfect sense, such as keep flammable items at least three feet away from the space heater. Also, space heaters should not be placed close to water. In an office setting, that might not seem to apply – until you accidentally tip over your water bottle. Electric space heaters obviously have cords, so the ‘do’ for this is that cords should not be where they could cause someone to trip or place the cord under something that could pinch the wires. Finally from the ‘do’ list, it’s imperative to use only heaters that have the Underwriters Laboratories safety mark on them. And older, cheaper models, can definitely pose a fire hazard. For the ‘don’t’ list, you shouldn’t use an extension cord attached to the space heater. The only exception would be if the cord is the correct gauge size and type for the heater. Also, ‘don’t’ use an electric space heater to dry clothes or unfreeze pipes, both which can lead to burns. Finally, ‘don’t’ use a space heater in a bathroom, where there’s exposure to water and electrical shock. My fellow employees have received our orders with mixed feelings, but I’m glad for the reminder about our safety.