Consumer Product Safety

NITE Alert_53

October 31, 2002

Safety tips for using kerosene heaters and kerosene fan heaters
<Based on accident information collected in 2001>

With the approach of colder weather, heating appliances will be used with increasing frequency.There are many fire cases involving kerosene heating and fan heating appliances among the accident information cases collected by the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation every year.This safety alert has been issued in an attempt to prevent further accidents by highlighting some of these cases.
Chart 1 indicates the number of these accident cases collected in past three years (FY1999 to FY2001).The number of collected cases involving kerosene heaters in particular ranks first or second every year.

Chart 1 Number of collected accident information cases of kerosene heaters and kerosene fan heaters
Product name FY1999 FY2000 FY2001
Kerosene heater 150 (16%) Rank : first 130 (9%) Rank : second 184 (12%) Rank : second
Kerosene fan heater 24 (3%) 21 (1%) 29 (2%)

1. Case examples

Examples of accidents related to kerosene heaters and kerosene fan heaters are as follows.
Most of the cases are accidental fires. Many kerosene heater accidents correspond to cases (1) and (2), while many kerosene fan heater accidents correspond to cases (2) and (5).

  1. (1) Laundry placed above of near kerosene heater to dry, dropping and catching fire.
  2. (2) Kerosene leaking from cartridge tank and catching fire because the cap was not closed securely.
  3. (3) Bedding or combustibles such as magazines catching fire after going to sleep without extinguishing the kerosene heater or fan heater.
  4. (4) Kerosene spilled over from the tank and ignited while re-filling without extinguishing the heater.
  5. (5) Fire caused by filling gasoline by mistake.

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2. Preventive measures

The accident examples mentioned above are deemed to have been caused by the misuse or negligence of those who suffered injury as a result of the accidents. The numbers are as follows:

Chart 2 Number of accidents caused by misuse or negligence
Product name FY1999 FY2000 FY2001
Kerosene heater 123 (82%) 109 (84%) 103 (56%)
Kerosene fan heater 13 (54%) 14 (67%) 11 (38%)
  • * Percentages in brackets indicate ratio to number of accident information cases for each product indicated in Chart 1.

To prevent these accidents, it is important to use the product carefully according to cautions indicated in instruction manuals and on the product body.

  • * The next issue (No.54) will provide a safety alert related to electric heaters, etc.

Fore more information;
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Product Safety Technology Center, Product Safety Investigation Division

Contact us

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