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As temperatures drop, you may be tempted to seek an alternative heat source to stay warm in your home. This is especially true during a power outage.
Follow these safety tips to stay safe and warm:
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, space heaters are responsible for more than 25,000 residential fires every year, resulting in more than 300 deaths.
- Never leave a space heater unattended or alone with young children and pets. In addition to the threat of fire, space heaters are also hot and can burn children and pets.
- Place space heaters on level, hard, nonflammable surfaces. DON'T place a gas fueled space heater on a rug or carpet.
- NEVER put objects on a space heater. DON'T use a space heater to dry shoes or clothes.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is produced from burning fuel. It can be fatal when allowed to build up indoors.
Protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. They should be placed near sleeping areas to wake you if an emergency occurs while you’re asleep. As is the case with your smoke detector, you should replace the batteries every six months.
A HELPFUL REMINDER
As of 2011, all California single-family homes are required to have carbon monoxide detectors
- Check that fuel-burning appliances — such as gas furnaces, stoves and water heaters — are installed properly and are well-maintained as they can produce high levels of carbon monoxide.
- NEVER use cooking devices, such as ovens or stoves, to heat your home. Also don’t use generators, propane heaters, barbecues or charcoal indoors as they generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
While a cozy fireplace can be appealing on a cold night, it can also be a hazard if not used properly. Familiarize yourself with the appropriate safety procedures before attempting to start a fire.
- Keep flammable materials away from fireplaces and put a glass or metal screen in front of the fireplace opening to prevent embers or sparks from exiting. Never leave a fire burning when you go to sleep.
- Supervise small children while a fireplace is in use.
- Make sure the flue is open so that the smoke and gasses from the fire vent properly. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year.
NOTE: Do not burn wood on days when a Spare the Air Alert is in effect. To learn if a Spare the Air Day is in effect, visit sparetheair.org.
If you suspect there is a problem with a natural gas appliance in your home, call PG&E at 1800-743-5000. And to learn ways to save money on energy during the winter months, read PG&E's winter saving tips.
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