Tis the season for more than just the holidays - the temperatures outside have gotten significantly colder for the majority of the country. In December of 2018, the average temperature in the contiguous United States was a chilly 35.6 degrees!

Keep Your Home Safe and Warm

  • Space heaters are popular tools for keeping warm, since they're portable and can give off a lot of heat.

    • Make sure your space heaters meet the latest safety standards, including having an automatic cutoff device and guarding around heating elements.

    • Place space heaters on level, hard, non-flammable surfaces. Keep them at least three feet away from furniture, curtains, and other materials that can easily catch fire.

    • Turn off a space heater when you walk away from it, and when you go to sleep.

  • Fireplaces can also warm a home, in addition to creating a lovely ambiance.

    • Make sure the flue is open before starting a fire, and keep it open until the fire is out to draw the smoke out of the house.

    • Clear the area surrounding the fireplace of anything flammable.

    • Never leave a fire unattended.

    • Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected annually.

    • Never use gasoline or other fuel to light or relight a fire.

  • Don't use ovens or stoves as heat sources.

If you live in an area where winter storms are common, you know that heavy snow, wind, and ice can cause power outages. Generators and candles can pose fire and carbon monoxide risks if you're not careful!

  • Don't run a generator inside the home or in an attached garage.

  • Follow manufacturers' instructions when using generators, using appropriate size and type of power cords and not running them under rugs or carpets.

  • Use battery-powered sources of light whenever possible.

No matter how careful you are, there will always be a risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure to have at least one battery-operated smoke alarm, CO alarm, or combination smoke/CO alarm on every floor of your home.