Many of the houses here in Spain are not built for the cold weather and for ease and money, portable gas fires seem to be the answer, but there are various things that you must be aware of if you are using these appliances.

Accidents most frequently occur as a result of gas leaking when people are assembling appliances or changing cylinders or cartridges. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is butane or propane stored as a liquid under pressure. A small leak can produce a large volume of highly flammable gas. The gas is heavier than air so that it collects near the floor or ground and can be ignited at a considerable distance from the source of the leak. If escaping gas is ignited in a room or other space there may be a fire and an explosion.

It is advised that if you live in a home that is more than two storeys high, do not use calor gas or paraffin heaters.

Every year over 100 people die and nearly 1000 are injured in their homes as a result of fires caused by heating appliances. Many of these fires involve portable heaters. Any type of portable heater can start a fire if it is misused. Make sure you read and understand the manufacturer’s instructions before using one.

if you use any type of log burner or gas fire you must have an audible carbon monoxide detector. They are not expensive and save lives.

Basic rules:
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions.
  • Keep the heater clean and well maintained.
  • Ventilate the room in which the heater is being used. This is extremely important as the fumes emitted from the fire can kill.
  • Make sure that a permanent safety guard is fitted.
  • If a heater is to be used in one place for a long time, fix it securely to a floor or wall.
  • Whatever type of heater you use, do not
  • move a heater while it is alight or switched on;
  • stand or sit too close, your clothing may ignite;
  • place a heater too close to furniture, bedding or curtains;
  • air or dry clothes over a heater;
  • place heaters where they are likely to be knocked over;
  • leave a portable heater on if young children or animals are left unattended;
  • use flammable adhesives, cleaning fluids or aerosol sprays near a heater;
  • Turn off portable heaters before going to bed.
Portable Gas Heaters

There are now many forms of powerful domestic heaters available which are fuelled by cylinders of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

  • Ensure that the appliance is serviced regularly.
  • Change the cylinder in open air. If this is not possible, open windows and doors to increase ventilation.
  • Never change a cylinder on a stairway or other escape route.
  • Extinguish all sources of ignition, including cigarettes and pilot lights, and turn off other heaters and electrical appliances before changing the cylinder if it has to be done indoors.
  • Check that the valve on the empty cylinder is closed before disconnecting the heater. Do not turn on the valve of the new cylinder until the heater is securely connected.
  • Search for any suspected gas leak by brushing soapy water onto the flexible hose and fittings. If a leak is found, take the heater and cylinder into open air and do not use them until the faulty part has been replaced.
  • Store spare cylinders outside where possible. Never store them in basements, near drains, under the stairs or in a cupboard containing electric meters or equipment. Spare cylinder must be stored upright.