Heater Safety
Friday, January 2, 2009

With the high price of heating our homes this winter, many people are using alternative sources of heat. These can be very dangerous unless you take the proper safety precautions. Dr. Edward Hill discusses heater safety in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Kerosene heaters should not be used in a room where there are flammable solvents such as aerosol sprays, lacquers, gasoline, kerosene containers or any type of oil.  Heaters should have safety cages to keep small children and pets from being burned. Kerosene heaters should be turned off before you go to sleep because they produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.  You should have adequate ventilation to other rooms, and a source of fresh, outside air such as a window or door open at least one inch.  Allow your heater to cool before refueling and only refuel outdoors using the proper fuel for your unit.

Electric heaters should have a tip-over switch that shuts it off automatically if it turns over. Keep space heaters at least three feet from draperies, blankets, sofas and other combustibles. Never use electric space heaters in the bathroom. Electric heaters with frayed or damaged cords should never be used, and avoid using extension cords.

And never leave children unsupervised in a room with a space heater. 

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.