Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal
With reports out of the Houston area indicating hundreds of carbon monoxide poisoning cases, and several tragic deaths, stemming from unsafe heating practices in the wake of power outages, we want to reiterate these safety tips and add a few more:
DO NOT bring barbecue grills inside to use as a heat source. DO NOT run a vehicle inside of a garage, door closed or open.
If you’re using a generator, remember:
Do not place generators inside of any structure including garages, carports and sheds
Instead, place the generator at least 20 feet away from your home, down-wind away from open doors, windows and vents
Before refueling, turn the generator off and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes
Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet
Instead, use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators
Do not use in rain or wet conditions
Have a fire extinguisher nearby
Have a carbon monoxide monitor for your home
To view a video on generator safety, click here: https://youtu.be/7HsupqhBVis
If your power is out, and you DO NOT have a generator, we have the following safety tips for some alternative heating sources you may be considering:
Keep candles and oil lamps 3-5 feet from combustible objects and never leave them unattended or within reach of children. This includes blowing a candle out when you go to sleep or leave a room.
Make sure fireplaces and wood-burning ovens are well ventilated and not overloaded.
Also, do not go to sleep with any fires still burning.
Utilize extra clothing and blankets to stay warm with your family.
Do not use gas stoves or ovens as heat sources
Let’s not forget about our home heating safety tips when your power IS on:
Place space heaters 3-5 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!
Lastly, make sure to check on your neighbors to ensure that they are following these safety tips as well. We’re all in this together!!