Make sure your portable heater has an automatic shut-off in the event it tips over. Keep any burnable objects like bedding or furniture at least three feet away. Avoid using an extension cord or strip, always plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Remember to always turn off heaters when you leave the room.
Generators are a fantastic resource when it comes to being prepared for winter storms and power outages. However, it is critical you know how to operate a generator safely. Never use a generator indoors – attached garages are no exception. Generators should always be operated outside in a well-ventilated area way from your home.
Fireplaces, Furnaces and Stoves
Keep vents for furnaces, stoves, fireplaces and dryers clear of snow and other debris. Burnable objects should be kept at least three feet away from stoves and furnaces. When operating a wood burning stove, always double check the flue to make sure it is open allowing for adequate ventilation. Store ashes outside in a metal garbage can - a safe distance away from your house, and never leave a wood stove fire burning while you sleep or leave the house.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide poisoning happens most often in winter months when people are using heating equipment and appliances. Carbon monoxide, known as the “silent killer,” is a colorless, odorless gas that is released when fuels like gasoline, wood, coal or natural gas burn. It is important to make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
Test your CO alarms every month. If the alarm ever sounds, get outside immediately or move to an area with an open window or door. Stay there until first responders declare it is safe to re-enter the home.