You will be relieved to have a heater when the power is out, but how safe is a kerosene heater indoors? This is a type of space heater that is powered by kerosene fuel – a flammable liquid. It is a portable device that you can use anywhere. But will it be safe to use it indoors? As long as you keep in mind the safety precautions, it would be OK to use this type of heater inside. These safety precautions include preventing the unit from releasing an unpleasant smell or anything that can potentially cause harm.
The main reason that makes a kerosene heater dangerous for indoor use is its carbon monoxide emission. It is a colorless and odorless gas that poses a health hazard. In some instances, it can be fatal in just a matter of minutes.
To prevent this from happening, you need to service your device regularly. Still, the essential step for safe indoor use is making your house well-ventilated. In such a case, the fresh will be able to circulate correctly. You need to leave the windows and doors open and remember not to use your kerosene heater inside a room wherein air can get in and out. Read more to keep you and your household members safe.
3 Dangers Caused By Kerosene Heaters
So, you know how safe is a kerosene heater indoors- not! Other than the danger of carbon monoxide when using a kerosene heater that most people are aware of, some other risks are associated. We will list them below.
#1. Air pollution
Other than the released carbon monoxide, some other pollutants are also released by kerosene heaters. This includes carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. These pose health risks, particularly cardiovascular diseases, breathing disorders, and other conditions.
#2. Fire hazard
Just like with any other heater, if you operate your heater near combustible items such as curtains and furniture, then a fire may take place. Furthermore, if the fuel used is incorrect for the kerosene heater, it can explode.
#3. Burn risk
Although you should handle all heaters carefully, kerosene heaters are specifically dangerous for pets, children, toddlers, and babies. Any of them touching the open flame of the heater can lead to severe burns. For that reason, a safety cage is commonly used with this type of heater.
What Causes The Unpleasant Odor?
Sometimes, your kerosene heater will release bad smells. But this can be minimized when you know what is causing the unpleasant odor of your heater. It can be one or a combination of the following.
#1. Low-quality fuel
If your fuel contains a high sulfur level or the kerosene you use is low grade, it will not burn correctly. The hydrocarbons in your fuel may not burn. This will form onto the wick of the heater and will harden eventually. The heater will become less effective and produce foul odors in such a case.
#2. You are using the heat at too low a temperature
In this case, the fuel will not burn entirely or adequately, leading to foul odors. Remember to use your kerosene heater at high temperatures all the time. Then, turn down the temperature so that it will not produce soot. Also, check the user manual with your heater to know the right height for the wick. Keep in mind that if the wick is too low, it can cause the heater not to burn the fuel properly.
#3. Some burned fuel is dripped to the heater
It would help if you cleaned all the drips off your heater right away. After that, ensure to refuel the kerosene heater outdoors. Know how to start a kerosene heater.
Alternatives To Kerosene Heaters
If you now want to utilize heaters run on kerosene due to safety issues, you can consider other heat sources if the power is out. Below are some of them.
#1. Catalytic gas heaters
This heater type operates by heating an element before releasing it to the room. Some models are available to be used in enclosed spaces. But propane tanks are required for such models. This alternative is safer since it does not work with open flames.
#2. Using the fireplace
Well, who does not have a wood-burning stove or fireplace at home? With this, you can warm yourself quickly. But since it has smoke, you need to ensure that the room has good ventilation.
#3. Light some candles
You may not think that candles will be strong enough in warming up your space, but they can. But you need about 20 candles as this is the equivalent of one space heater. Also, note that candles release carbon monoxide, so you need to be careful and only light them in well-ventilated areas. You may also want to read about how to fix the common problems of a kerosene heater.
It’s A Wrap!
If you use a heater run on kerosene, you should know the possible risks. We have featured in this post the necessary information related to how safe is a kerosene heater. Some heating alternatives are also included for you if you want to avoid the possible dangers of kerosene heaters. You may want to read related articles; know what is the best indoor propane heater and how safe is a kerosene heater indoors. Thank you for being with us!