Fire Marshal’s Office urges safe home heating

Published 1:42 am Saturday, January 22, 2022

As our state faces another blast of frigid air, this time forecasted to last longer than previous cold fronts, the State Fire Marshal’s Office is pleading with Louisianans to prioritize safe home heating practices.

 

“So far this year, we have lost 10 lives, including two children, to home fires,” said State Fire Marshal Chief H. “Butch” Browning, “Several of these cases are either confirmed or suspected to have been caused by home heating-related hazards that are absolutely preventable. Now is the time to take action to prevent the same dangers in your home.”

 

The top safe-heating tips we are offering families include:

 

  • Place space heaters 3-5 feet from combustible objects like blankets and curtains
  • Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords
  • Do not use stoves or ovens to heat homes
  • Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood-burning stoves
  • Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended
  • Have working smoke alarms in your home!

 

Having working smoke alarms in your home right now is especially important as cold weather is often associated with an uptick in residential fires. Our Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments and districts to install smoke alarms for FREE, at any time of the year, for families in need of assistance accessing the critical emergency-alert equipment. Residents can register to have an alarm installed on our website, lasfm.org, or by contacting their local fire department.

 

In addition, carbon monoxide, or CO, can also be a hazard when it comes to heating your homes, especially if the power goes out. Carbon monoxide, often referred to as “the invisible killer,” is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane are actively burning. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel, like furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces, can be sources of carbon monoxide, as can generators, both portable and home standby models.

 

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office can be reached at (225) 925-4911.