Before You Plug That In…

With colder weather approaching, many state employees might think about bringing a space heater or coffee cup warmer with them to the office. While a toaster or hot plate may help keep you warmer in the fall and winter, these appliances can cause havoc with your office’s circuits. Continually overloading the electrical systems in your building can lead to fires or smoke damage. That is one of the reasons the State of Texas prohibits the use of many electrical devices in private offices and cubicles. The Texas Facilities Commission has included on its list of unauthorized and potentially hazardous appliances:

  • Air purifiers
  • Aquariums
  • Coffee cup warmers
  • Coffee makers and coffee pots, permitted in break rooms only
  • Crock pots and other electrical cooking appliances, permitted in break rooms only
  • Curling irons and other electrical hair styling tools
  • Floor fans, small desk fans may be used
  • Hot plates, permitted in break room only
  • Immersion water heaters
  • Irons and steam irons
  • Microwave ovens, permitted in break room only
  • Refrigerators, permitted in break room only
  • Space heaters
  • Toasters and toaster ovens, permitted in break room only
  • Water coolers/dispensers with heating or cooling elements, permitted in break rooms only

TFC also has banned open flame items, including candles and incense for two important reasons. Incense or other odors may mask indicators of trouble spots or electrical wiring problems. Also, some co-workers may have sensitivities or allergic reactions to the scents and fumes generated by those items. You should leave other air freshening products at home including scented wax melts, plug in fresheners, potpourri baskets, and scented candles.