Kerosene Heater Safety II
Picking the model
There are two types of portable kerosene heaters - convective and radiant.
The convective heater usually is circular in shape. Its fuel tank is located below the wick and combustion chamber. The wick absorbs and delivers fuel to the combustion chamber.
Convective heaters circulate warm air upward and outward in all directions. They're designed for large areas or even several rooms, but never for a small, closed area such as a bedroom. Some owners report that one or two of these units can adequately heat an entire house when the temperature stays above freezing.
Convective heaters must be moved for refueling because they don't have a removable fuel tank. Generally, refueling is done with a siphon pump. Be sure a convective heater has a fuel gauge.
Radiant heaters - usually rectangular in shape - are designed for smaller areas. They also feature a wick and combustion chamber and have, in addition, a reflector which directs heat at people or objects. Some radiant heaters have electric fans to increase the flow of warm air.
Many - but not all - radiant models have a removable fuel tank, which means that the heater can stay in place. Only the fuel tank needs to be carried to where the fuel is stored.
A radiant heater without a removable fuel tank must be moved for each refueling - just like a convective model.
Be sure your heater has a recognized seal of approval such as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label. The UL label means the heater has performed well under test conditions and meets acceptable fire safety standards.
Also be sure your heater has a battery-operated lighting device — it eliminates the need for matches.
Heaters should have a safety shutoff device, which extinguishes the flame if the unit is jarred or tipped over.