Safety Tips for Using Portable Gas Heaters

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), portable gas heaters and electric space heaters generate more than 20,000 residential fires each year. It is estimated that nearly 300 people die each year as a result of these fires.

In recent years, the CPSC has upgraded industry standards for portable gas and electric heaters. Manufacturers are now required to install an automatic shutdown device, which instantly turns off the heaters if accidentally spilled. In addition, an oxygen reduction sensor must be installed on all portable gas heaters, which automatically close it if the oxygen level drops too low.

With these new requirements, portable gas heaters are much safer to use; However, some safety precautions must be taken to avoid injury and fire. The following tips can help you stay safe when using a portable gas heater.

Tip # 1 Only purchase certified portable gas heaters. Choose a portable gas heater that has been tested and certified by the Underwriters Laboratory or other nationally recognized testing laboratory. Generally, a certification label is affixed to the unit or power cord. Certification is often printed on the box.

Tip # 2 Purchase only portable gas heaters that provide protection around the flame or heating element.

Tip # 3 Never place a portable gas heater near flammable materials such as curtains, furniture, or bedding. Portable gas heaters should always be placed at least three feet away from flammable materials.

Tip # 4 Place the portable gas heater on a stable, flat, non-flammable surface such as tile or parquet. Never place a portable gas heater on a carpet or carpet as it may cause a fire.

Tip # 5 Fan the area. When using a portable gas heater in a house or building, make sure that some type of ventilation is available. Keep the doors open throughout the house or break a garage window. Portable gas heaters produce toxic emissions that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Always be sure to have a decent fresh air supply.

Tip # 6 Install a carbon monoxide detector in the area of ​​use of the portable gas heater. If you have not already done so, also install a smoke detector. Both detectors must be installed on each floor of the house. Install new batteries and perform a monthly test to make sure they work.

Tip # 7 Never use a portable gas heater in a mobile home. Mobile homes are built to specifications different from those of traditional homes and require specially designed heating equipment. Although portable electric heaters are approved for use in mobile homes, if not an absolute necessity; it is probably best to avoid using one.

Tip # 8 Have it inspected regularly. At a minimum, you should have the portable gas stove inspected each year. If you use it frequently, consider having it checked at least every six months.

Tip # 9 Turn it off. Turn it off when you go to sleep. Turn it off when you leave the area. Turn off if children or pets are nearby.

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