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GRFD Shares Safety Tips For Temporary Winter Structures

picture of igloo type outdoor structure
City of Grand Rapids

Many businesses, especially restaurants have had to get creative to continue serving customers during the pandemic.  In numerous cases that means setting up a heated location outside of the main restaurant.  So now, the Grand Rapids Fire Department is advising local business owners about keeping their businesses safe as they create new ways to keep serving customers. 

“We haven’t had to shut anyone down, but people have made arrangements that weren’t appropriate and had to spend money on changing those arrangements to make it safe for their customers.”
Ric Dokter is the Fire Marshall with the Grand Rapids Fire Department. He says their goal is not to shut any business down.  But they are encouraging restaurants and other businesses that seek to add outdoor space to play it safe, especially when using alternative heating sources.  Fire officials say those sources such as space heaters can lead to fires and other unsafe conditions when not placed or used properly.  They advise following the manufacturers recommendations when using heating elements.  Fire Marshall Dokter recommends a consultation with their fire prevention division.
“We know how important it is for these business owners in these stressed economic times, to have some income and we have been working very well I think.”
There are numerous recommendations for businesses from the fire prevention division.  Fire Marshall Dokter says a call to their office at 456-3900 will get businesses the information they need.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.