Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: south western Ontario, Canada
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Enclosed combustion regardless of type of fuel, is generally safer, and it also requires, as in 'must have', gas tight venting to the outside to safely dispose of combustion gases. Without gas tight venting it is as dangerous as any other type of heating; ALL heating systems must have this. Power venting may be needed, with an interlock to turn off the fuel if the fan stops running.
Diesel fuel is safer because it has a much lower flammability, both as liquid and vapour, than other fuels (except perhaps coal).
Combine these two considerations and you have a relatively safer system. "Relatively safer" because you still have to maintain it leak proof from both fuel and combustion gas.
As always, make-up air for the air burned in combustion and exhausted with the combustion gas, has to be provided - don't close you boat up airtight, or flames will eventually go out... and you might be suffering from lack of oxygen! (Remember the high school experiment of the candle burning under the inverted drinking glass?)