How to Safely Heat With a Torpedo Propane Heater

Written by beth anne beckenhauer
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How to Safely Heat With a Torpedo Propane Heater
Torpedo propane heaters allow work to continue in cold weather. (Alistair Berg/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Torpedo heaters are cylindrical and portable, forced-air or convection heaters most often used on construction sites. They heat large spaces quickly, but because of the enormous heat output and the use of propane gas or kerosene, precautions are required to avoid fires and other injuries when using them.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Confirm that the connections to the propane supply are leak-free. If the torpedo propane heater uses an electrical cord for ignition, inspect it for damage. Fix any issues before using the heater.

    How to Safely Heat With a Torpedo Propane Heater
    Propane torpedo heaters may use a power cord as an ignition source. (power plug image by BigDog from
  2. 2

    Place the heater in a well-ventilated area. Torpedo heaters cause a build-up of carbon monoxide in an area that is not ventilated, which can lead to illness or death. A propane torpedo heater requires at least 3 square feet of fresh-air ventilation per 100,000 Btu. Check your heater's specifications for the number of Btu produced.

  3. 3

    Do not place the torpedo propane heater near walls, furniture or high-traffic areas where someone or something may accidentally get burnt. Keep pets and children away from the torpedo propane heater.

    How to Safely Heat With a Torpedo Propane Heater
    A torpedo heater can easily cause a fire if safety precautions are not taken. (Burn Baby Burn! image by Slapper from
  4. 4

    Do not leave the area or go to sleep while the torpedo propane heater is in use.

    How to Safely Heat With a Torpedo Propane Heater
    Sleeping while a heater is running leaves you unaware of the warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. (woman sleeping image by forca from

Tips and warnings

  • Read the user manual before operating a torpedo propane heater.
  • Torpedo propane heaters are not recommended for domestic use, as homes often lack adequate ventilation.

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