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Catalytic heaters can be used wherever heat is required, producing heat at a lower, more controlled rate than unconstrained combustion. Examples of smaller and larger heaters are soldering irons, hand warmers (such as the Jon-E or Zippo) and space-heating appliances. Current small-scale space heaters are typically propane (LP) or butane fueled, whereas many older types used liquid fuel (naphtha, lighter fluid, Coleman camping fuel or "white gas" in the USA) or alcohol. Pocket-sized catalytic hand warmers have traditionally used naphtha-type liquid fuel exclusively.
Certain safety measures should be taken when using a catalytic heater. Catalytic heaters should be installed properly to prevent fuel leakage, in areas with good ventilation and away from combustibles.