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Dangers Of Incorrectly Using Heating Appliances


An article regarding a family in Cabramatta who tried to use a charcoal heater inside their home before falling ill from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Whilst they were fortunate to all having survived, it is a timely warning for winter.


Choice last year provided advice on How to buy the best heating system for your home., and it might be worth a read if one plans to heat or intends to purchase a new heater for the upcoming winter…


Another incident of carbon monoxide poisoning with a family of two adults and five children all admitted to hospital.


I have always been very concerned about unflued combustion heaters, such as gas or kerosene.

Thankfully the old kero heater is just about gone but I hated them as they stink and fill the room with combustion products as well as the risk of fire. Unflued gas heaters are not as stinky or immediately dangerous but still produce the same gases.

People immediately think of carbon monoxide which is rightly viewed with alarm as it is very insidious, you can be getting poisoned and not know it. But that isn’t all.

Many do not realise that even when working correctly these heaters’ combustion products, carbon dioxide, water and others have their own problems. The water will condense on your windows on a winter night which can be rather inconvenient. The carbon dioxide is not toxic but will send you to sleep. I recall many a night where the heater was fired up and we settled in to watch the box, after half an hour half the family were asleep.

Add in some particulates and volatile organics from incompletely burned fuel (and kero vapour in the case of that type) and you have very low air quality. Long term exposure to such material is quite harmful to your health.

We were told to have ventilation in the room but keeping a window open on a cold night with the heater struggling to keep up was never going happen.


I remember the aroma of the kerosene fridge - nothing made the kitchen smell more enticing!!

Probably worth mentioning that carbon monoxide alarms can be bought from hardware stores.

Interestingly it is said to be the second most second-most common molecule in the interstellar make-up, behind molecular hydrogen - it is also a common component of comets, 15% or so of Halley’s Comet is solid CO … so if you are not running a heater of this kind and your CO alarm goes off, things might be about to get real bad (look outside for an imminent comet impact) :wink:


Hmmm maybe a way of detecting Near Earth Objects if we place enough in space…something like Telsa’s effort to improve internet connectivity…more satellites thus more junk, and more stuff to avoid. A benefit might be that it might create a solid shield around the earth that will cause any possible impact likely object to break up before it can hit us :smirk: