That’s a good question, and there isn’t a clear answer. As you might know, kerosene heaters are considered by many to be the most effective type of portable space heater for home use. They work by heating a small area with an enormous flame, which is usually produced by an electric fan blowing across the small pool of kerosene collected in the reservoir at the base of the heater.
So, kerosene heaters are a common home heating source; however, they pose serious safety risks. There are many potential dangers from using kerosene heaters in a garage, but it’s usually not recommended to use them there either.
What is a kerosene heater, and how does it work?
Kerosene heaters are small devices that use kerosene (a type of diesel) for heating purposes. Earlier it was used by the people in their homes, but now they are replacing them with gas or electric heaters due to safety issues.
As you turn on the heater knob or switch, it creates a spark. This heat will spread throughout your room while having a crackling sound, just like an old-fashioned fireplace.
Kerosene heaters provide both warm air and radiant heat. The best thing is that the kerosene heater has its vent, so we don’t need to worry about oxygen circulation and the ventilation system while using them indoors.
Why are kerosene heaters dangerous?
Kerosene heaters are potential killers in the home. They increase the risk of fire, explosions, and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is a poisonous gas that interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen and causes flu-like symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, and nausea.
Kerosene heaters are dangerous because of the fumes they produce. The fumes are flammable. Therefore it is necessary to have proper ventilation in your home when you use a kerosene heater. If not enough air can get into the room, then combustion cannot occur properly, and the incomplete combustion gasses will be produced in addition to the fumes.
How to avoid danger when using a kerosene heater in the garage?
Some safety precautions for using a kerosene heater in an enclosed space, such as a house or garage, include:
- Use only clear white-colored kerosene. Never use gasoline, naphtha, colored, or low-quality kerosene in your heater.
- Put the heater on a stable surface away from flammable objects. For example, do not place it on carpeting, where heat could melt the carpet and cause a fire.
- Do not move the heater while it is still burning or hot – let it cool down first. Keep children and pets away from the kerosene heater.
- Never use a kerosene heater to warm your hands or feet. The heat given off by these appliances is very hot and can cause severe burns.
- Do not leave a space heater unattended, especially around children. Turn the unit off before you go to bed or leave home.
- Never refuel a hot heater. It can cause spillage and result in severe burns. Instead, allow it time to cool down before refueling.
- Ventilation is an essential heater safety consideration. Use a vented kerosene heater or an electric heater. These heaters produce a better circulation of heated air from the room and reduce the possibility of the build-up of fumes.