(WWLP) – A local fire department is warning residents not to use kerosene heaters in homes this winter.
The State’s Fire Marshal’s Office states that due to the increased risk of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning, kerosene heaters are illegal in Massachusetts, they cannot be sold or used where people live. If anyone violates this law, they are subject to a fine of $100 or more.
Agawam Rocky’s Manager John Beston told 22News, “If it’s illegal in Massachusetts, your insurance company is not going to cover it, if there’s ever a problem with it.”
West Springfield Fire Lt. Tony Spear said it can be risky to use kerosene space heaters, “The hazards with them is that it’s a liquid, it’s a flammable liquid. So it’s harder to control if they do get out of control.”
The Bondsville Fire Department posted on Facebook that they were notified that some people talking about the use of kerosene heaters. Bondsville Assistant Fire Chief Michael Germaine shared the Massachusetts law and included that “properly vented fuel burners with separate supply tanks are legal and must be installed by a licensed technician who has pulled a permit.”
“There are different heaters out there, some of them have the heating element exposed. So if you can see the heating element, it would be a little less safe than say a ceramic, oil heater. Those are the safest you can get,” said Lt. Spear.
22News stopped by Rocky’s Ace Hardware in Agawam where there’s a variety of space heaters for sale.
“The electric heaters we have should do just fine for warming small rooms and things of that nature,” said Beston, who highlighted the particular safety features of tower heaters. “Some of the tower ones have what’s called an anti-tip feature, so if it ever were to get knocked over or turn over, it would turn off automatically.”
When using any kind of electric space heater, be aware of its placement in the home and only use as directed.
Mass General Laws 148 Section 25B: No person shall use, allow to be used, sell or offer for sale any unvented liquid fired space heater. As used in this section, ”space heater” includes portable space heater, parlor heater, cabinet heater, room heater and any similar heater having a barometric fed fuel control and its fuel supply tank located less than forty-two inches from the center of the burner and means the type of heating appliance adapted for burning kerosene, range oil or number one fuel oil and used principally for the heating of the space in and adjacent to that in which such appliance is located. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars a day.