The massive winter storm hitting the East Coast has home heating systems running hard and the American Red Cross asks everyone to use caution heating their homes, especially if using supplemental heating sources.
Heating one’s home through the winter can be expensive, so costly that almost half of the families in the United States use alternate heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or coal or wood stoves to stay warm. These supplemental heating sources can be dangerous if not used properly.
The Red Cross urges everyone to use follow these safety steps when using alternate heat sources:
POWER OUTAGE The storm is bringing high winds to the affected regions, which could cause the power to go out. If someone is going to use a generator, never use it indoors, even in a garage, carport, basement or crawlspace. Fumes from the generator can be deadly. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Other safety tips include:
LIFE-SAVING STEPS Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home, and set up a meeting place outside in case of fire. Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothing should catch on fire.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check monthly that the alarms are working properly by pushing the test button. Replace batteries in smoke alarms that require battery changing at least once a year. Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
For more information about fire safety and steps you can take to be ready, visit the preparedness information on our web site.