California Space Heaters
November 30, 2010
There is a fine line between how much safety a corporation should provide to the consumer regarding its products vs. how much responsibility of safety should fall on the average consumer. Take, for instance, the all too familiar McDonald’s coffee episode. Does McDonald’s have a responsibility to its customers to ensure the coffee isn’t hot enough to scald if spilled upon one’s lap? Or should the customer be held responsible for their own safety in regards to common sense judgment? This is what California Space Heaters, Inc. (CSH) must consider when deciding exactly which products to launch. Kerosene heaters are often times used in shops and garages as well as inside homes. They …show more content…
The average home user is probably less likely to know how to operate the wick for ideal combustion. And because the unit is operating indoors, emission control is much more important than it is in a garage or shop where there is more ventilation. The third and last option absolutely necessary for the indoor heater is a removable tank. Refueling a tank indoors is dirty, aromatic, and more dangerous than refueling outdoors. A removable tank also eliminates the need for a siphoning system. A tank level gauge is just a “bell and whistle” not needed for a base model. An electric wick adjustment is an option that could be implemented on higher-end models, but is not a big safety concern, so does not justify the high cost.
For both indoor and outdoor heaters, it would be very important to apply warning labels in clear view on the kerosene heater in regards to asphyxiation, proper wick adjustment methods, re-fueling methods, and other pertinent safety information.
The cost of the basic heater without any safety options is $44. To add the electric ignition for the outdoor model, the cost would be $63.50. Adding the wick stop and removable tank to the indoor model, the cost would be $76. With an average of a 95% markup for retail, the outdoor unit would sell for about $124. The indoor unit would sell for about $144.50. The safety features implemented for these base models do three things.