11/25/13 To cope with power outages resulting from the storm, some Hoosiers have begun using alternative heating sources, such as wood stoves or space heaters, to warm their homes. Even where power is available, more Hoosiers are using alternative heating sources as winter approaches. The Indiana State Fire Marshal is encouraging these individuals to use these sources safely.
“Every winter, firefighters across the state respond to thousands of home fires caused by heating equipment,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “These types of fires can almost always be prevented by homeowners and renters who use alternative heat sources carefully and responsibly.”
Things to keep in mind when using heating equipment:
Woodstoves or fireplaces:
• Use only dry, seasoned wood in a fireplace or woodstove to avoid the build-up of creosote, an oily deposit that easily catches fire.
• Use only paper or kindling wood, not a flammable liquid, to start the fire. Do not use artificial logs in woodstoves.
• Make sure your fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room.
• Allow fireplace and woodstove ashes to cool before disposing in a metal container, which is kept a safe distance from your home.
• Space heaters need space. Keep heaters away from flammable materials such as bedding, drapes, clothing, etc.
• Use the proper grade of fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use.
• Refuel space heaters only in a well ventilated area and when the equipment is cool.
• Plug power cords only into outlets with sufficient capacity, never into an extension cord.
• Turn off space heaters whenever the room they are in is unoccupied.
• Turn off space heaters when you go to bed each night to avoid knocking them over in the dark.
Knowing how to use your generator properly can protect you and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Never use a generator inside.
• Place emergency generators outdoors away from windows and doors to prevent fumes from entering the home.
• Have a CO detector in the house that sounds an alarm when dangerous carbon monoxide levels are found.
For more information about winter heating safety, visit www.getprepared.in.gov.
In case of a fire, it is not only crucial to have a working smoke alarm in your home, but it is also the law (IC 22-11-18-3.5). Working smoke alarms can double the chances of surviving a residence fire. By Indiana law, all dwellings must have at least one functioning smoke alarm installed outside each sleeping area, and on each level of the building.