Safely heating your home in the winter

Deputy Fire Marshal Joe Mullens of Rockingham County reminds homeowners how to safely heat your home.
Rockingham County Fire Department
Rockingham County Fire Department(WHSV)
Published: Feb. 21, 2021 at 7:29 PM EST
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - With winter weather and cold temperatures impacting our area recently, the Rockingham County Fire Department wants to remind the community of how to safely heat your home.

Joe Mullens is the Deputy Fire Marshal in Rockingham County, and he said every winter the fire department sees an uptick in calls related to heating appliances.

So far this year, they haven’t see as many calls as past seasons but have still seen heat-related incidents.

Mullens said it’s important to keep heaters three feet away from all flammables and combustible objects like blankets.

Never use an extension cord to power a heating appliance, and never use your stove or oven to heat your home because it can cause poisonous gases.

If snow is built up around your house, make sure your exhaust pipes are clear, like your dryer and other appliances, so gas can exit your home.

It is a little late in the season, but Mullens said if you haven’t had your chimney checked yet, it is still a good idea to go ahead and get it done and always use clean wood to fire a wooden stove.

“You shouldn’t be waiting until the coldest day to figure out how you’re going to heat your home. And so making sure you have heaters, or kerosene heaters are used properly, and they are not covered up; they’ve been maintained well. Really the main point is keeping heaters and appliances three foot from anything flammable and not using an extension cord or power strip to power them,” Mullens said.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are also a necessity.

Rockingham county supplies free carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to all county residents. You can call to request a detector at 540-564-3175.

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