How many times have you turned on the news, only to hear about a child who was burned or a fire that was caused by the use of a kerosene heater? It’s been estimated that there are 50 deaths in the United States each year caused by kerosene heaters. Your first thought on hearing of these incidents may have been that the heater’s owner used it improperly, but that’s not always true. In many cases, it has turned out that the heaters were defective products, designed or manufactured improperly or sold without proper instructions or sufficient warnings. In one such case, a toddler suffered second and third-degree burns after her pajamas caught fire when she simply passed by a unit whose safety cage failed.
Kerosene heaters are not always unsafe. There are manufacturers and designers that are diligent, and who provide appropriate warnings and instructions, and in these cases, these portable units can be safe to use in your home as long as you follow all of the appropriate safety precautions. Here are guidelines for their safe use:
- Check to make sure that the unit has been UL approved
- Choose a model that does not require the use of matches. A kerosene heater should have a battery-operated lighting device.
- A kerosene heater should have a safety shut-off feature
- Never leave a kerosene heater unattended.
- Make sure that the room in which the heater is placed is adequately ventilated.
- Check the wick regularly and clean it when it gets dirty.
- Wipe up any kerosene that has spilled immediately.
- Kerosene heaters are not meant to be used in small rooms, and their use in bedrooms is particularly problematic.
- Always use 1-K grade kerosene.
- Do not place kerosene heaters within several feet of furniture, drapes and curtains, clothing, bedding, or other flammable items.
- Do not place kerosene heaters anywhere near aerosols, lacquers, gasoline or other combustibles.
- Keep small children and pets away from kerosene heaters.
- Do not try to move a kerosene heater that is burning.
- Turn kerosene heaters off before going to sleep.
- Do not try to refuel a kerosene heater when it is hot.
Kerosene heaters that are properly designed still require careful use in order to ensure safety. If you or someone you love was injured or suffered any type of damage due to a kerosene heater that was defective, you need an experienced advocate to stand up for your rights. Contact the professionals at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers today.