New York State
REAL PROPERTY LAW (RPL)
Laws 1909, Chap. 52
PORTABLE KEROSENE HEATERS
Section 239. Legislative findings.
239b. Only approved portable kerosene
heaters permitted in structures.
239c. Approval by the secretary of state.
239d. Sale of unapproved portable
239e. Portable kerosene heaters
prohibited in multiple dwellings.
239f. Penalties for violation.
239g. Application of article.
Sec. 239. Legislative findings.
The legislature recognizes that the ever-increasing cost of home
heating has resulted in widespread consumer interest in the use
of portable kerosene heaters. Because there is a wide variety of
kerosene heaters, including different designs and intended
purposes, the public interest requires that those heaters which
are used in residential structures meet certain safety standards
designed to insure that they are reasonably safe for that
purpose. Accordingly, it is the intent of this article to protect
the public by establishing standards which will permit the use of
reasonably safe heaters in residential structures.
Sec. 239-a. Definitions.
As used in this article the following terms shall mean and
1. "Structure." Any building or completed construction of any
kind including but not limited to, private dwellings or to
any structure used for business, commercial or industrial
purposes, but not including multiple dwellings, buildings
under construction, or buildings used solely for
2. "Multiple dwelling." A multiple dwelling is a dwelling which
is either rented, leased, let or hired out to be occupied or
is occupied as the residence or home of three or more
families living independently of each other and shall
include, dwelling portions of hospitals, nursing homes,
convents, monasteries, asylums and public institutions.
3. "Owner." The owner of the freehold of any real property (as
defined in section two of the real property law), or of a
lesser estate therein, a mortgagee or vendee in possession,
assignee of rents, receiver, executor, trustee, lessee,
agent, or any other person, firm or corporation, directly or
indirectly in control of real property.
4. "Person." The term person shall include the owner, mortgagee
or vendee in possession, assignee of rents, receiver,
executor, trustee, lessee, agent or any other person, firm
or corporation, directly or indirectly in control of a
structure or part thereof.
5. "Listed." Any portable kerosene heater which has been tested
by an independent, nationally recognized testing or
inspection agency, acceptable to the secretary of state and
which has been determined to meet a generally accepted
standard for such heaters. Such determination shall be
evidenced by either the inclusion of the heater on a list
published by such agency or by the heater bearing the
listing mark of such agency.
6. "Portable kerosene heater." Any non-flue connected, self-
contained, self-supporting, kerosene-fueled heating
appliance equipped with an integral reservoir, designed to
be carried from one location to another.
7. "Approved portable kerosene heater." Any listed portable
kerosene heater which:
(a) has a fuel capacity of not more than two gallons;
(b) emits no more than .04 percent carbon monoxide in an
air free sample of flue gases at maximum heat output
and no more than .08 percent at recommended low-fire
(c) has a minimum tipping angle of no more than thirty-
three degrees from the vertical with a full fuel
(d) has an automatic shutoff safety device or inherent
design feature which extinguishes the heating flame
upon tipover in not more than ten seconds;
(e) includes as standard equipment a pump or siphon for
(f) is packaged with instructions advising the purchaser of
proper maintenance and operation;
(g) bears labeling, in conspicuous letters, cautioning and
informing the purchaser as to:
(i) the need for an adequate source of ventilation
when the heater is in operation;
(ii) the use of only suitable fuel for the heater;
(iii) proper manner of refueling;
(iv) proper placement and handling of the heater when
in operation; and
(v) proper procedures for lighting, flame regulation
and extinguishing the heater;
(h) after April first, nineteen hundred eighty-two, meets
such additional standards, if any, as may be contained
in reasonable rules and regulations adopted by the
secretary of state pursuant to section two hundred
thirty-nine-c of this article.
Sec. 239-b. Only approved portable kerosene heaters permitted
Portable kerosene heaters which do not meet the requirements of
subdivision seven of section two hundred thirty-nine-a of this
article are prohibited in structures. It shall be unlawful for
any person (1) to use any portable kerosene heater except an
approved portable kerosene heater in any portion of a structure,
or (2) being the owner of such structure, to provide or place or
cause to be provided or placed in any portion of a structure, any
portable kerosene heater except an approved portable kerosene
heater for use by any occupant of such structure.
Sec. 239-c. Approval by the secretary of state.
After April first, nineteen hundred eighty-two, no portable
kerosene heater shall be offered for sale in this state for use
in a structure unless it has been approved by the secretary of
state or his designee. In determining whether to approve a
portable kerosene heater for sale, the secretary of state shall
consider whether the heater meets (1) the standards set forth in
subdivision seven of section two hundred thirty-nine-a of this
article, and (2) any additional standards which the secretary of
state reasonably believes are required to effectuate the purposes
of this article as set forth in section two hundred thirty-nine
of this article. The secretary of state may promulgate reasonable
rules and regulations setting forth the procedure by which
portable kerosene heaters will be reviewed for approval.
Sec. 239-d. Sale of unapproved portable kerosene heaters.
All unapproved portable kerosene heaters offered for sale in this
state shall have printed thereon or attached thereto and on the
package in which such heater is sold the following statement:
"This heater is not approved for residential or commercial use."
There shall also be printed thereon or attached thereto and on
the package in which such heater is sold such other information
as may be required by the secretary of state.
Sec. 239-e. Portable kerosene heaters prohibited in multiple
It shall be unlawful to use any portable kerosene heater in a
Sec. 239-f. Penalties for violation.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable for each offense by a fine
not exceeding one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for a period
of not more than ninety days.
Sec. 239-g. Application of article.
1. This article shall not be applicable to any city having a
population in excess of five hundred thousand.
2. Nothing in this article shall be construed to permit the
sale or use of any portable kerosene heater in any
municipality in which such use or sale is restricted or
prohibited by any general, special or local law or rule or