The demand for outdoor patio heaters has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic and this trend is expected to continue. Because propane is a preferred fuel for outdoor heating products, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has created a Portable Heaters Safety Fact Sheet to educate consumers and ensure their safety. during the colder months.
Propane outdoor heaters work in different ways and emit heat by convection, forced air or infrared heating. They also vary in capacity, output setting, size, and ability to heat areas of varying square footage. Whether used by homeowners to enhance their back patio or by restaurants and hospitality venues to expand their outdoor spaces, safety is of the utmost importance.
This free, downloadable fact sheet provides tips for the safety of outdoor portable propane heaters, including:
- Do not operate or light the heater if you smell gas.
- These heaters are intended for outdoor use only, never for temporary indoor use.
- Outdoor propane heaters must be turned off and unplugged before moving.
- Move outdoor heaters away from exits.
- Use outdoor patio heaters only on flat, stable surfaces away from foot traffic.
- Keep heaters away from flammables.
“When used safely, propane is an ideal energy source for outdoor heating products – it’s low maintenance, environmentally friendly and affordable,” said Bryan Cordill, Director of Residential Business Development and sales at PERC. “This fact sheet is intended to educate the growing number of residential and commercial construction customers across the country who use propane patio heaters.”
Additionally, since outdoor propane heaters are powered by portable cylinders, homes and businesses should be aware of the regulations and safety considerations that apply to storing portable cylinders that are not in use, including :
- Never store propane cylinders indoors.
- Store bottles in a well-ventilated area.
- Store cylinders that are not in use at least 20 feet from heaters that are in use.
- Store cylinders upright with the valve facing up, never on their side or upside down.
- Store cylinders on a firm, level surface.
- Store cylinders at least 10 feet from sources of ignition such as smoking areas or air conditioning/refrigeration equipment.
- Store bottles away from places where people typically gather.