Dangerously cold weather is here but the dangers don't end once you're inside your home.
Officials are warning about some of the pitfalls of alternative heating.
When the dangerous cold clutches the region, Rocky Hill's Deputy Fire Marshal Frank Kelley knows it could be a busy time.
“As far as number one causes of fires in the United States, of course, it's cooking fires. Right after that, it's heating equipment,” Kelley said.
He says the dangers in the home come from the fireplace, the stove, space heaters and more.
“It's really all the same, it's carelessness,” Kelley said.
First the fireplace. By now, he says chimneys should have had their annual check.
“You could have a chimney fire and the smoke would back up into your house,” Kelley said.
When using it, only put in seasoned wood and keep it closed to keep embers from flying.
“You want to make sure you have either a metal screen or a tempered glass fireplace enclosure,” Kelley said.
Space heaters are also very popular, and with the popularity comes the dangers.
Kelley says they're the second leading cause of fires across the country. The biggest problem is not giving it enough space.
Then, the things no one should do. Kelley says stoves and ovens shouldn't be used. First, they're not effective and second, the heat would be concentrated to one area, creating a fire danger.
“Most important is that we want to make sure we have working smoke alarms in the house,” Kelley said.
Oil, natural gas, liquid propane, and wood or pellet stoves also present dangers in the form of carbon monoxide.
Dr. Steven Wolf from Saint Francis says he sees it each year.
“In addition, if you're using a generator to generate more power, you want to keep it far away from your house because the fumes get sucked in,” Wolf said.
It will be a busy stretch for firefighters. They have two requests, saying people need to heed that advice and dig out fire hydrants. That's critically important and save precious time.
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