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  • Writer's pictureFD8

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:

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!!

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