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State Fire Marshal urges safe home heating

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (SFM) is reminding all residents to practice safe home heating as the state faces some of the coldest temperatures predicted this winter.

The top safe-heating tips the SFM are offering families, which can also be found in a video on the agency’s social media sites, include:

  • Place space heaters three to five feet from combustible objects like blankets.
  • 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.

In addition, the SFM wants residents to be aware of unseen carbon monoxide threats associated with home heating:

  • Clogged exhaust pipes for dryers, furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces.
  • Running a vehicle inside of an enclosed garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Operating a portable generator in an enclosed space or near a window, door or vent.

The SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments and districts to provide free smoke alarm installations, at any time of the year, for families in need of assistance accessing the critical emergency-alert equipment.

In addition to having working smoke alarms, the SFM also emphasizes the importance of having planned and practiced escape routes for your home that include knowing two ways out of every room.

To register for a free smoke alarm, or learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit online at www.lasfm.org.