Be cautious using Alternative Heat Sources

Dangerously cold temperatures are being blamed for an increase in home fires as more people use alternative heat sources, tells Oconee County Deputy Chief of Fire and Life Safety Shane Gibbs. “Here is the Upstate we have been exp[experiencing some unseasonably cool temperatures compared to past years, but just like any year in the past, we always like to try to make sure that everyone stays safe especially when using heat sources for their homes. Make sure that you keep your filters clean if you have a central HVAC unit; make sure that it has been maintenance and looked at. If you are using wood heat, make sure you clean your chimney and it is free of any debris or suet that could cause an issue. We don’t recommend using anything that is not listed for indoor use. I know that when it does get cold that people tend to use unconventional methods for heating their homes. So, we do not recommend any type of heating source that is not recommended for indoor use. As always, make sure that you have a working smoke alarm and if you are using any gas appliances that you have a carbon monoxide alarm and that it is working properly.” Chief Gibbs recommends having smoke detectors in every room of your home and carbon monoxide detectors within 15-feet of gas appliances.