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Bend restaurants’ outdoor seating heaters checked to meet fire safety codes

(Update: Adding video, more on inspections)

As cooler weather nears, inspector makes sure heat lamps comply

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend restaurants taking advantage of outdoor seating to handle social distancing now have to pass inspection by the fire department if they wish to use outdoor heaters as the temperatures cool.

Bend Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention Larry Medina is in the process of making sure restaurants that intend on using heat lamps comply with fire code.

“We are looking at stuff we have never looked at before,” Medina told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday.

One restaurant that passed Medina's inspection on Thursday is the Good Drop Wine Shoppe in Bend's downtown.

Sarah Worley, owner of the wine shop, said, “It really is instrumental for our businesses to make a profit, to keep our employees and to keep people paid during this weird, funky time we are having,”

The wine shop shares its tent with neighboring businesses, Dogwood Cocktail Cabin and Bos Taurus. The tent can seat around 30 people.

Businesses like the Good Drop Wine Shoppe will have to make sure the canopies on their tents are fire-rated and that they are heating either with propane or with a commercial heating system especially made for tents.  Propane tanks also need to be at least six feet away from the tents for safety reasons.

Worley said that being able to have outdoor seating has really helped her business. In fact, she described the seating as "make or break" for her restaurant.

“It’s gone well for all of us, which is why we are very thankful to the city for letting us extend this through the winter," Worley said. "Because with COVID continuing, our businesses would really be threatened if we weren’t able to do this.”

Article Topic Follows: Bend

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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