When heating a home safety should be top concern | SierraSun.com

When heating a home safety should be top concern

Sierra Countis
Sierra Sun

The death of a Truckee man from carbon monoxide poisoning highlights the importance of heater safety in the home.

A toxicology report released Tuesday revealed that Gerrard Cash, 50 of Truckee, died from a lethal dose carbon monoxide in his Coachland home on Oct. 10, said Nevada County sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Koehler. Investigators discovered a propane gas space heater in the home without proper ventilation.

Koehler said investigators found nothing to indicate foul play or suicide.

The incident serves as a reminder for residents as temperatures plunge into the single digits at night.

Many homeowners rely on gas stoves, woodstoves, or forced-air heating to warm their homes. Somehow though there’s always a room that feels chillier than the rest of the house ” and that is where space heaters can be useful. But despite the convenience of a space heater, the small appliances can be dangerous, even deadly, if not used properly.

Electric space heaters ” such as a ceramic, coil, or an oil-filled radiator heater ” are typically purchased by customers to heat a home, said Doug Wright, Mountain Hardware store manager. Kerosene or propane gas space heaters are often found on construction sites because the heaters require proper ventilation, he said.

The use of kerosene heaters inside the home is against the law in California, said Gene Welch, public safety and information officer at Truckee Fire Protection District.

Wright said he discourages customers from purchasing propane space heaters for their homes because of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Construction workers should use them on a site that is ventilated. Otherwise, he said, the gas fumes produced would be like those from running a car engine with the garage door closed.