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Shade Q&A

Thoughts on patio and poolside living. A blog by Claire - The Patio Umbrella

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Where to place your patio heater

.... what kind of clearance do you need?

Posting date: 21st April 2007 16:39

Gas patio heaters are probably less safe than electric ones. Some say that gas have had their day in the commercial market and that in the next few years, electric heaters will be the main product of choice.

Either way think about the following:

1. Clearance between any heater and a parasol

Some of the giant patio umbrellas available on the market have fire resistant canopies. However, most domestic and smaller parasols definitely won't have. You won't want to take the risk with either, however, as fire resistant does not mean fire proof and undamageable by fire.

My suppliers have indicated that a minimum clearance between canopy and heater should be 1.5 ft. The cautious would make it 2ft.

2. Heaters under a canopy

One of my suppliers will only supply electric heaters to go under a canopy because of the fire risks. Others will supply, provided the clearance is sufficient. The AEL mobile gas heaters can come at a reduced height if necessary.

3. How high should patio heaters be off the ground?

Any patio heater, whether it is electric or gas, wall mounted or mobile, needs to be well clear of children's height. I believe that most commercial outfits put them at least 2.1 - 2.2m off the ground. you should check with your health and safety people who can survey your location for risks.

Obviously in the domestic market, health and safety regs are not so stringent, but you need to make sure you are not taking undue risks.

So, basically, you need to look carefully at the head clearance of your canopy and the height of any mobile gas heater you buy. Regarding wall heaters, remember to think about how close the canopy is going to be the wall and where you should locate your heater as a result. Too low and you cause another fire hazard.

Hope this helps!

Claire

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