PERC defends outdoor propane heaters in New York City

January 21, 2022 By    

In New York City, use of outdoor propane heaters requires an executive order that has not yet been renewed due to safety concerns the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) says are unfounded.

According to PERC, no fire-related incidents involving propane outdoor heaters were reported by the fire department in New York through the winter of 2020, and many of the city’s 19,000 restaurants were able to stay open during the winter months thanks to their outdoor propane heaters.

“The safety of our customers is always our No. 1 priority,” says Tucker Perkins, president and CEO of PERC. “We have not been presented with any evidence of safety or health issues associated with using propane heaters in New York or elsewhere. We would welcome a conversation with city officials to address this concern.”

PERC says propane is well positioned to keep restaurants and customers warm and safe now that cold weather has returned, and it doesn’t require costly infrastructure upgrades that small businesses can’t afford. Installing outdoor heaters that run on electricity and natural gas often require system upgrades, permits and inspections, and interruption of business operations.

Propane outdoor heaters are self-contained, portable units that are powered by a safe and clean fuel that loses almost no energy as it travels from tank to application, adds PERC. Unlike electricity and natural gas, propane isn’t dependent on the electric grid or a pipeline. It keeps restaurants, other businesses and homes running even when the lights go out and natural gas is interrupted, as was the case with Superstorm Sandy.

Learn more about propane and propane outdoor heaters at

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