They save money, come in handy when the power is out, and
provide a great deal of heat during the cold months of the year.
Nevertheless it is important to operate the heater safely. The
precautions below are ones you should be aware of when having
and operating your kerosene heater. This is a great place to
begin learning about what is involved with kerosene heaters
but we also recommend you check our selection of Kerosene
to find specific information for your model
or just to become more familiar with Kerosene Heaters.
General Guidelines on Kerosene Heater Safety
- Dramatic increases in home heating costs have resulted in
a significant expansion in the sales and use of portable kerosene
heaters. If you use a kerosene heater in your home or place
of business, you should take precautions against a number
of serious hazards.
- Fire could be caused by operating the heater too close to
furniture, draperies or other combustibles, by knocking over
a lighted heater, or by accidentally igniting fuel when filling
the tank. Explosions could be caused by use of the wrong kind
of fuel, or by operating the heater in an area where there
are combustible fumes.
Burns could be caused by direct contact with a heater, or
by ignition of combustible clothing. Children and pets should
be kept at a safe distance from operating heaters.
- Kerosene heaters consume oxygen as they burn. If they are
operated in a small room or in an inadequately ventilated
area, oxygen in the air could be reduced to a dangerous level.
Reduced oxygen supply could lead to incomplete combustion
of fuel and the production of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide
is a colorless, odorless gas which in sufficient concentrations,
or if breathed over a period of time, can kill without warning.
- In addition to carbon monoxide, kerosene heaters can emit
such pollutants as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur
dioxide. Breathing these substances can create a risk, especially
to such people as pregnant women, asthmatics, individuals
with cardiovascular disease, elderly persons and young children.
- Install battery-operated CO detectors to alert you to dangerous
levels of CO in any enclosed area where a kerosene heater
is being operated.
- Among the dangers in using kerosene heaters are spillage
of the highly inflammable fuel, asphyxiation, burns from touching
a hot heater, ignition of the fumes from stored kerosene and
poisoning from the liquid, which is highly toxic.
- Running the kerosene heater close to furniture, rugs, carpets,
or any other combustible or flammable object can cause fires.
Using fuel other than 1-K grade kerosene and operating the
heater near fumes or fuel can lead to explosions. If kerosene
spills, clean it up right away.
- Most importantly, never leave the kerosene heater burning
and unattended. Extinguish it if you are leaving the area
or if you will go to sleep.
- Never use any heater to heat food or water, or to dry wet
clothing, and never move it while it's in use.
- Kerosene heaters could be especially hazardous in bedrooms,
particularly when units designed to heat large spaces are
used in small rooms. Do not use flammable solvents, aerosol
sprays or lacquers near the heater.