Fire - 8. "How to handle the heating apparatus" | Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

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Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control

"How to handle the heating apparatus"

The most popular heating apparatus is the air conditioner, but for its price and the complicated work to put it for a room, in the case of the foreign students they often receive small electric or gas fan heater from the seniors or it is common to buy in the second hand shops. However, in the case of the secondhand there is always the possibility of having trouble in the electric system which may cause accidents. Even if the system works well, small heaters, because of its portability, may cause fire when not used in proper way.

In this chapter we will see in detail, the types of the heating apparatus, how to use them and what we need to take into account.

There are some types of heating apparatus. In the case of foreign student it is quite likely to use the air conditioner equipped in the room at the dormitory or apartment. If you need to buy one by yourself, an expensive air conditioner might not be your choice. Let's see the types of heating apparatus. At appliance stores, you will find ones described below. They can be divided in three categories; oil fuel, gas fuel and electric ones.

Fueled by oil: kerosene heater, kerosene fan heater etc.
Fueled by gas: gas fan heater etc.
Electric: air conditioner, electric heater, oil heater, halogen heater, Japanese Kotatsu and electric carpet etc.

We tend to pay attention on the price and whether it is economical or not when choosing one. But it's not easy to compare correctly considering all the condition such as size of the room, hours of use and the temperature set up. However, more importantly, we need to be aware of the possible danger accompanied with using any heating apparatus. Generating heat means that there is always the danger of catching fire. Let's see the risks of using them.


The following tips are suggested by Tokyo Fire Department (Marunouchi Fire Station) to prevent fires from heating apparatus. Please make sure you keep those in mind for they are the basic points.

  1. 1. Don't leave combustibles near heating apparatus.
    Avoid hanging clothes over a stove or a heater to dry them, and place the heating apparatus away from curtains or beddings.

  2. 2. Never leave cans of hair spray near a heating apparatus.
    They contain flammable gas which could be ignited by heat and explode.

  3. 3. Make sure to switch off when you go to bed or when you leave your room.
    Stoves and heaters must not only be turned off but also pulled out the plug always. There is always the danger to be turned on by accident when hit by some object.

  4. 4. Pay attention not to get oil leaking when refueling a stove.

  5. 5. While heating, especially with kerosene or gas as fuel, open the window and ventilate once or twice an hour.

  6. 6. When using the air conditioner, be aware of the dryness of the room.
    To prevent your room from getting too much dry, use a humidifier or hang wet towels over the wall. Please adjust the outlets of the air conditioner in a position in which the wind doesn't blow directly to people's face.

In winter, we can enjoy hot dishes or winter sports such as skiing or snow boarding. Please take care about your health to keep your condition and enjoy the winter in Japan safely and comfortably.


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