We have had an incident at a primary school where during the summer there has been a class move round and a reception class have been moved into a demountable with storage heaters. Council policy has always been to fit guards to storage heaters in areas that are to be used by reception or nursery children due to the high temperatures that the heaters can reach.
The photograph below shows a thermal image of the storage heaters installed and with the fan on the air leaving the vent at the bottom of the unit can reach in excess of 110 degrees centigrade. This heat dissipates very rapidly but could still cause concern for very young inquisitive children.
This problem was brought to PSG`s attention as over the weekend a box of plastic building bricks was left in contact with the storage heater and as the heat from the storage heater was not able to naturally dissipate the box and bricks showed significant damage as shown in the photo`s below.
Another concern with this would be a potential fire risk if there had been any paper or other combustibles in the box with the bricks.
There are a few lessons that can be learnt from this incident:
1. If nursery or reception children or vulnerable people are to be moved to a room containing storage heaters arrange through your electrical surveyor to have guards fitted to them.
2. Do not place any items which may be damaged by the heat close to the heater, especially when the room is unattended or overnight and weekends etc.
3. In refurbishment projects install high level air source heating or low level low surface temperature heaters under the advice of your PSG surveying team.
If you are in any doubt please contact PSG who will be more than happy to advise you.