KFSD official explains danger of heaters while camping
Wintertime is the best time for family gatherings and camping. But while enjoying this time, we should be aware of carbon monoxide, the silent killer. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas. Room heaters fueled with gas, oil, and kerosene produce it; CO can accumulate to dangerous levels. Though the briquettes do not produce visible smoke and seems to be smokeless and harmless, it contains poisonous gas within, which works in shadows.
“During winter, we face many cases of death due to fire and suffocation. People use heaters, coals, and briquettes to heat the room and forget to extinguish it,” First Lieutenant Ali Qali, public relations and media department of the Kuwait Fire Service Directorate (KFSD) told Kuwait Times. He added that this causes suffocation and may lead to a fire due to lack of ventilation. Another cause of death is Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning which is ignored in some cases.
One of the joys of life for Kuwaitis is that people can spend their time in the desert. But to ensure the safety and security of campers, Qali noted that people should follow fire prevention procedures while camping in order to prevent accidents and ensure safety at camps by putting out the coal before sleeping.
“People must use high quality coal. After the coal turns white, the camper should make sure the tent has proper ventilation to prevent breathing in CO while using the heater,” he said. Qali said that the briquettes, coal and gas heaters should be kept outside the room and if possible CO detectors should be used in buildings for better precautions. He pointed out that all kind of heaters are considered safe if people use it in the right way.
With electrical heaters, the most common cause of ignition is short circuit. According to a survey, the cause of ignition during the third quarter of 2016 were 510 short circuit accidents, while 145 were caused by youngsters and children. “Low quality power socket may cause a short circuit, which may lead to fire and death,” Qali said. He added that people should avoid warming up their clothes by putting them on the heater. “The electrical heater has ventilation slots and a fan. When you cover it, it damages the heater.” To avoid the risk of suffocation and fire, he advised people to supervise children when the heater is being used, keep flammable things away from the heater, have a qualified professional install the equipment and make sure that all fuel-burning equipment are vented outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.