• A popular portable heater sold at Lowe’s stores across the United States is now being recalled because it could start on its own.
  • The heater, which runs on kerosene, is potentially dangerous due to its potential to burn up the oxygen in an enclosed space or even start a fire. 
  • The units were sold at Lowe’s stores between June 2020 and November 2020, and the company says that roughly 4,500 of the heaters were purchased during that timeframe.

While the days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere, it’s still rather chilly in many parts of North America. If you find yourself reaching for a portable heater to keep your garage, basement, or workshop nice and toasty, you’ll want to make sure you’re not using this recalled model sold at Lowe’s stores. A new recall for DeWALT cordless kerosene forced air heaters (model DXH90CFAK) has been issued by the company and posted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The issue with the heaters is somewhat bizarre. It seems that the heaters have a habit of turning on by themselves, which is incredibly dangerous as these heaters burn oxygen and could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, and that’s on top of the fact that they could start a fire if directed at something flammable.

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Electric heaters are often used in enclosed spaces with little airflow due to the fact that they don’t consume oxygen in order to produce heat. Gas-powered heaters are different, as they produce a flame that burns oxygen in addition to the fuel, and that can fill the air with dangerous carbon monoxide. These types of heaters are only to be used in an area with adequate ventilation, but since these heaters can apparently start on their own, the risk is far greater, as they may start up when stored in an area where ventilation isn’t great.

On top of that, the heater may also be capable of starting fires, especially if it’s been stored in an enclosed area and is pointing in the direction of something that is flammable, like the wall of a garage or workshop. That’s obviously very bad news for anyone with one of these heaters, which is why the company is issuing the recall.

Some additional details on how to identify if your heater is included in the recall:

This recall involves DeWALT cordless kerosene forced-air heaters model number DXH90CFAK with serial numbers 340902-20001001 through 340902-20004000 and model number DXH90CFAKM with serial numbers 340901-20001001 through 340901-20001500.  The heaters have a black tank/base, a yellow body and a gray combustion barrel.  “DeWALT” and “90,000 BTU” are printed in yellow on the combustion barrel.  The model number and serial number are located on the side panel opposite the controls.

Obviously, if you find yourself in possession of one of these heaters, stop using it immediately. The company says it has received one report of the heater starting on its own when in standby mode. The company believes the units may start up on their own when the temperature falls beyond a certain point, which shouldn’t happen if the heater is in standby mode. The company’s contact information is available on the recall page, and you can get in touch with the manufacturer for a replacement.

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Mike Wehner has reported on technology and video games for the past decade, covering breaking news and trends in VR, wearables, smartphones, and future tech. Most recently, Mike served as Tech Editor at The Daily Dot, and has been featured in USA Today, Time.com, and countless other web and print outlets. His love of reporting is second only to his gaming addiction.