New Haven Wins Skirmish in War on Kerosine Heaters

New Haven Wins Skirmish in War on Kerosine Heaters

From the Publishers Desk

As the war against kerosine space heaters continues, the New Haven, Conn., Fire Department won at least a skirmish when a merchant pleaded guilty to violating the city code banning such use that was passed in 1963. The merchant received a 30-day suspended sentence.

The fire department is determined to enforce the code against the new generation of unvented kerosine space heaters and is now awaiting prosecution of another merchant. This merchant was charged with the illegal sale of kerosine heaters after two warnings to cease selling and using such heaters. Chief John P. Reardon told us he regarded this case as the more important of the two as prosecution strikes at a source of heaters before they get into homes.

When self-service gasoline stations first made their debut, there were those who feared that the customers would spill gasoline with every attempt to fill their tanks and a horrendous fire problem would be born. However, mostly because of the lack of statistical evidence, legislatures remained convinced that the American consumer does not waste what he pays for and the self-service stations were allowed to proliferate.

We recently received a report from the United States Department of Labor that confirms the legislatures’ faith in consumers and their ability to pump gasoline. The Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration is proposing the elimination of its regulation banning the use of latch-open devices on gasoline nozzles at self-service pumps. This proposal, however, is not only a compliment to auto drivers’ sense of safety, it also is a recognition of the ingenuity of the average American.

OSHA found that the National Fire Protection Association had revised its code in 1981 to permit the use of latch-open devices because drivers propped open the hold-tokeep-open nozzles with gas tank caps or whatever else was handy.

OSHA also reported that Lundberg Survey, Inc., an authority in the retail gasoline business, estimated that about 72 percent of the nation’s 190,000 gasoline stations have self-service pumps.

Five states have retirement programs for volunteer fire fighters, according to a survey by the National Volunteer Fire Council. The states are Arizona, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oregon and Wyoming. While the pensions are not large, they do make an addition to a retired volunteer’s other income and provide a form of appreciation for loyal services.

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