Georgia Health Sciences University has adopted and thoroughly endorses a progressive fire safety program to promote institutional safety in compliance with state and federal regulations. All GHSU faculty, staff, students, patients and visitors shall comply with institutional standards when planning, purchasing, installing, and using all electrical equipment and appliances.
Reason For Policy
This policy establishes safety policies which apply to safety associated with the general use of electricity.
Entities Affected By This Policy
All units, divisions, subsidiaries or other entities of GHSU are covered by this policy.
Who Should Read This Policy
All staff, faculty, and students must observe, follow, and understand this policy in order to perform their job and/or institutional responsibilities.
|Contact||Title or Office||Phone||e-mail/URL|
|Greg Stokes||Fire Safety Officerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dennis Stevenson||Director, Environmental Health and Safetyemail@example.com|
Fire Safety Office Webpage:
These definitions apply to these terms as they are used in this policy:
Adaptor Plug A plug that is used to convert a three-prong grounded plug into a two-prong ungrounded plug.
Combustible Any material that will ignite and burn.
Extension Cord A cord that is used on a temporary or emergency basis of less than eight hours. They must be UL-listed.
Flammable A combustible that is capable of easily being ignited and rapidly consumed by fire. A liquid having a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flammable Vapor Any substance that exists in the gaseous state at normal atmospheric temperature and pressure and that is capable of being ignited and burned when mixed with the proper proportions of air, oxygen, or other oxidizer.
GFCI Outlet A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter outlet is designed to shut off under specific conditions.
Hotplate An appliance with stove–type burners for cooking.
(IDR) This form is to be completed to have maintenance that requires a funding source coordinated by the Facilities Management Division.
Multi-Plug Power Strip A unit that has multiple three-prong outlets, with or without a cord, which has a circuit breaker feature.
Outlet Extender A device, which does not have a circuit breaker feature, that when plugged into one or two outlets provides any number of additional outlets.
Space Heater A portable appliance that is used for heating.
Surge Protector A unit that has multiple three-prong outlets, with or without a cord, that prevents over-powering of equipment in the event of a surge in the power line to the equipment. The unit should clearly state, “UL Listed Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor.”
UL-Listed Items that have been tested and listed by the Underwriters Laboratories, INC.
Work Orders This process (e-mail, phone call) is to be completed to have maintenance that does not require a funding source coordinated by the Facilities Management Division.
Georgia Health Sciences University promotes safe work practices that are intended to prevent electric shock or other injuries resulting from either direct or indirect electrical contacts when work is performed near or on equipment or circuits which are or may be energized.
Georgia Health Sciences University will take every precaution to protect all persons, buildings, and property from hazards arising from the use of electricity. For this purpose, the university adopts as its standards the codes and standards as adopted by the State of Georgia, which contain basic minimum provisions necessary for safety.
The following guidelines apply to specific electrical equipment:
General Use: Absolutely no electrical installation, modifications, repair, or maintenance shall be performed by departmental personnel other than GHSU Facilities Management personnel or duly authorized contractors. This does not apply to UL-Listed electrical devices or appliances that can be plugged into a standard wall outlet.
Extension Cords: Extension cords may be used only on a temporary or emergency basis. Where there is a constant or repetitive need, permanent wiring must be requested. Extension cords purchased must meet the following requirements:
- limited to a maximum length of 25 feet and a type suited for the requested application.
- § UL-Listed, minimum 16 gauge wire to carry 13 amps, and have a 3-prong plug
When a temporary extension cord is used, including for audio visual equipment, it must be disconnected when not in use and stored properly. It must be used in such a manner as to not cause a tripping hazard. Environmental Health and Safety Division’s Fire Safety Office should be notified if there is any question as to whether or not the use of an extension cord is acceptable.
Multi-Plug Power Strips and Surge Protectors: The use of UL-Listed multi-plug power strips and surge protectors is allowed but restricted as follows:
- Use of the equipment in conjunction with an outlet extender, a temporary extension cord, another multi-plug power strip, or another surge protector is prohibited.
- The unit must be maintained a minimum of 8 inches from the floor surface.
- The unit must be maintained a minimum of 36 inches from a sink or basin.
- Surge protectors must be maintained securely and permanently affixed. This may require them to be mounted to various equipment or furniture. Many surge protectors have mounting brackets for screws that are designed for this purpose. Heavy double-sided foam tape, minimum 1/8 inch by 1 inch, may be used to mount surge protectors in some situations. Avoid mounting surge protectors to the walls of an area when possible. (Note: If the mounting is requested through the Facilities Management Division, you are required to submit an IDR. Work Orders for this work will not be accepted.)
Space Heaters: The use of approved space heaters is allowed in most campus buildings, unless restricted by this policy. An approved space heater includes the following requirements:
- Only electrical space heaters are allowed.
- The unit must be UL-Listed.
- The unit must be standard voltage (120V) and cannot be rated for more than 1500 watts.
- The unit must be thermostatically controlled to shut off when a certain temperature is reached.
- The unit must have a “tip-over” automatic shut off or an over-heat automatic shut off feature.
The use of space heating equipment is restricted as follows:
- May not be used in patient care areas.
- May not be used in student housing buildings. In the Alumni Center this requirement would only include the 2nd floor.
- May not be used in conjunction with an extension cord, an outlet extender, or a surge protector.
- The unit must be located in plain sight and clearly visible.
- The unit must be operated 36 inches away from combustible materials such as paper, furniture, clothing, curtains, trash cans, or storage. Nothing should ever be placed on top of or beside a space heater, and the heater must remain on the floor.
- The unit must be positioned at least 6 feet away from a sink or basin.
- The unit must not be used in any area where flammable materials or flammable vapors may be found or in a room used to store flammable materials (e.g., housekeeping closets, lab chemical storage areas, etc.).
- Existing heaters that are non-compliant shall be removed from campus use.
- Refer to these requirements when purchasing any space heater.
Other electrical equipment: The following guidelines apply to any electrical equipment not listed above:
- Any equipment that has a damaged electrical cord or is deemed electrically unsafe is to be removed from service until repaired or replaced.
- The use of outlet extenders, such as 1 outlet-makes-3 outlets or 2 outlets-makes-6 outlets, are not permitted under any circumstances.
- Plug-in air fresheners with an outlet feature where another electrical device can be operated from them are not permitted.
- The use of an adaptor that allows a 3-wire grounded plug to be used as a 2-wire plug is not permitted.
- Electrical outlets within 6 feet of a sink or basin are required to have a GFCI-type outlet.
- Existing outlets are exempt unless replaced due to malfunction or renovation.
- The use of hotplates is prohibited in student housing buildings. In the Alumni Center this requirement would only include the 2nd floor.
The responsibilities each party has in connection with the Electrical Safety Policy are:
|Vice President for Administration||Responsible for providing administrative, logistical and operational services to facilitate the teaching, research and health care missions of Georgia Health Sciences University.|
|Associate Vice President, Environmental Health and Safety Division||Responsible for providing environmental health and safety services to the GHSU community.|
|Fire Safety Office||Conducts routine assessments of all areas of the institution for general electrical safety.|
|Supervisors||Ensure the department activities follow the safety procedures as outlined in this policy.|
|All Personnel||Personnel must follow the safety procedures as outlined in this policy.|
State of Georgia Un-Annotated Code – Chapter 25
Rules and Regulations of the Fire Safety Commissioner, 120-3
(Adopted and amended codes from the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council.)