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Heater safety tips

December 12, 2006

If you are using a kerosene heater to keep warm this winter, the U.S. Product Safety Commission and the National Kerosene Heater Association has offered the following safety tips:

· Only use water-clear 1K grade kerosene. Gasoline cannot be used as a substitute. Even in small amounts, gasoline or other volatile solvents mixed with kerosene can greatly increase the chance of fire or an explosion.

· Keep kerosene in its own distinct container separate from gasoline containers to prevent accidentally using the wrong fuel. Gasoline is typically kept in red containers; kerosene is usually kept in blue containers.

· Never fill the tank inside the home. Refuel the tank outdoors, away from any combustible materials, and only after the heater has been turned off and has had a chance to cool down. Never refill the tank above the full mark. The space above the full line is there to give fuel room to expand.

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· If uncontrolled flaming or a flare-up occurs, do not move or carry the heater because it will make the fire worse. Use the heater's manual shut-off switch - not all kerosene heaters have them - to turn off the heater, a step that should extinguish the fire. Leave the house immediately and call the fire department if the fire is not out.

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