- Install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector near bedrooms to detect dangerous build-ups. CO can't be detected by smell, taste or sight and can reach dangerous levels when fuels such as natural gas, kerosene, wood or gasoline don't have enough oxygen to burn efficiently.
- Make sure heating vents are not blocked and the furnace is cleaned and maintained. Change furnace filters once every two months and do not store flammable liquids in the same room.
- With a wood-burning fireplace, have the chimney inspected and cleaned annually and use a sturdy fireplace screen. Do not burn trash because it can burn too quickly.
- Check that power and extension cords are certified by an independent testing laboratory and aren't frayed, cracked or cut. Follow the rating for indoor or outdoor use.
- With candles, use sturdy, safe candleholders that can collect dripping wax. Keep them away from children and anything that can ignite, such as clothing, books, paper, curtains and flammable liquids. Blow them out when you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Make sure portable electric space heaters carry the mark of an independent testing laboratory (US, CSA or ETL) and have an automatic shut-off feature.
- Never use an extension cord with a space heater. Always plug the heater into the wall socket and keep all flammable materials including furniture at least three feet away.
- Keep firefighting materials on-hand. These include dry powder fire extinguishers, a tarp or heavy blanket, sand, salt, baking soda and water.
- Don't thaw frozen pipes with a blow torch or other open flame. Use warm water or a UL rated hand-held blow dryer.
Frigid Temperatures Increase Need For Energy Assistance, Safety
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