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Are Kerosene Heaters Safe To Use?

Many people use kerosene heaters to supplement their traditional central heating system. In some areas, people use them as their sole source of warmth in the winter months. Still others keep kerosene heaters on hand just in case of a power outage. Regardless of the reason, kerosene heaters can provide warmth but it is essential for those who use them to understand the potential dangers.

Toxins in the Air

Kerosene heaters do produce toxins into the air of your home. They eat up the oxygen in the room and release carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide into the air. Kerosene can cause irritated eyes, dermatitis and respiratory problems. With chronic exposure, sleepiness and convulsions can occur. Eventually, there can be coma and death. These toxins can kill you, your family and your pets.

It is very important that the area where you are using the kerosene is well ventilated. Even if you think that your home is drafty, has inadequate insulation and worn out weather stripping, the ventilation will not be enough to keep you safe. The best thing to do is to keep a window opened up at least one inch as well as leave the door to the room open. This will allow for proper airflow so the toxins will not build up in a single room. Without adequate ventilation, the level of oxygen in your blood will be decreased and the toxins can seriously harm or kill your family.

Potential Burns and Fire Hazards

Although manufacturers say that kerosene heaters are safe when used properly, there is still a potential for you or your loved ones getting burned. Oftentimes children can trip and fall into the heater which results in a burn or the heater being knocked over. There are safety switches on newer kerosene heaters that shut them off when tipped over, but they are not a failsafe way to ensure your safety. Caution must be exercised when children are present.

Filling a kerosene heater indoors is very dangerous. You should always do this outside and only after the heater has cooled. Never fill a heater indoors and especially when it is turned on. This can cause the flames to flare up or the actual heater to combust. Both of which could burn you and set your home on fire.

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