Patio Heater Safety Tips

When we consider our heating needs, we are typically thinking about indoors, but patio heaters are a great way to stay warm outside.

Here are our top three tips to use your patio heater safely.

VentilationPatio Heater Safety Tips

Propane and natural gas patio heaters are a couple of the most common styles. However, both of these fuel sources release carbon monoxide. The most important tip is to use them in an open-air setting – not indoors or in a partially enclosed space. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. If you suspect cardon monoxide poisoning, call poison control at 1-800-222-1222.

Proper ventilation is also important to ensure flammable vapors are cleared before lighting a patio heater. Vapors from gas, kerosene, paint thinner and solvents can be accidentally ignited by the pilot light of a propane appliance. To reduce the risk of flammable vapor ignition, store flammable liquids in well-sealed containers.


Another important aspect of patio heater safety is making sure your propane tank is in good condition and not expired. Many people do not realize that propane tanks expire but they typically do expire within twelve years or less.

To check your propane tank’s expiration, look for the printed manufacturing date. Usually this is listed on the tank’s handle area or collar of the tank. The date will be listed as four numbers, the first two being the month and the last two being the year.

If your tank still looks to be in good condition but has surpassed the expiration date, you can get your tank recertified for another five years. One place to do this is AmeriGas.

Attend your heater

When in use, a patio heater should always be within eyesight. Not only can a patio heater get knocked over by a child or pet but staying near your heater will allow you to smell anything that might be “off”. If you smell a foul-smell, it is best to turn the heater off, as this is the sign of a propane or natural gas leak.

If the weather is windy, there is an increased risk of a gust tipping over your patio heater.  Do not use a patio heater in windy weather.

When a patio heater is not in use, it should be stored out of the elements such as rain and snow. This moisture can break down the materials, causing early wear and tear that deteriorates the integrity of the materials it is made from. When not in use, storing a patio heater inside a cover will help keep it clean and protected from the elements.

For more information about patio heater safety or for other heating and cooling needs, contact us at Pilchuck Heating.

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