Heat your home safely as temps continue to drop

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – As these temperatures continue to dip, many are using home heating equipment to keep their families warm.

More house fires happen in the winter, and carbon monoxide exposure and poisonings go up too. But a few simple steps can help keep you safe. 

As temperatures drop we crank up the heat. The safest way to warm your home is by firing up your furnace. Make sure you have it serviced and the filters changed on a regular basis to keep them running well.  

Check the exhaust system of those furnaces to make sure there’s no cracks in the pipes, and that fumes are directed out of the building. The exit point for those pipes should not be near a window or a door so carbon monoxide doesn’t build up inside. 

If you’re using a space heater, there are a few steps you can take to prevent a fire. 

“You should always buy a quality space heater,” says Association Secretary of New York’s Fire Fighters Association, John d’Alessandro. “You know it’s easy these days to go online and save a few dollars, but I would always buy one that has been tested by an outside laboratory like underwriters labs. Stay away from ones that use propane or Kerosene.”

“You should never use a cooking appliance, your oven, or a cooktop to heat your home. It’s not constructed for that, they’re not manufactured, and they’re not exhausted to have a continued combustion of fuel. That again is where you can run into problems both in terms of fire and carbon monoxide buildup,” says d’Alessandro. 

Now if you or your loved one lives in the city of Rochester and you lose heat, call 311 for help. 

The most important thing, not just this time of the year but year-round, is to have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of your home.