Oct. 6, 2008
Dr. Norfleet Suggests Tips for Heating Your Home Safely
Now is a good time, as cold weather approaches, to start thinking about heating your home safely this winter. The Oswego County Health Department reminds people that safety should be the number one priority when deciding on any type of alternative heating source.
Some popular alternative sources of home heating are fireplaces, space heaters, wood-burning stoves, and kerosene heaters.
"While chances of freezing to death in your home are small, there's a greater risk of death by fire or carbon monoxide poisoning," noted Dennis Norfleet, MD, Public Health Director for Oswego County. Fortunately, most tragedies are preventable by following a few safety steps.
Weather-related power failures are a fact of life in our region, and a generator will provide the backup electricity you need to get through the crisis. But any fuel-fired device can be a carbon monoxide (CO) hazard. Be sure to place permanently installed generators away from your house so that engine-exhaust gases, including CO, do not migrate back into the living space. Do not operate any portable generator inside of a building, particularly your home, where exhaust gases can be drawn inside. This includes garages, basements, or other confined spaces around your house.
In addition, county residents that need assistance with winter fuel costs can contact the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). For information on HEAP, residents age 60 and older may contact the Oswego County Office for the Aging at 349-3484 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3484. Other households should contact the Oswego County Department of Social Services at 963-5000 or 1-888-963-5377.
For additional winter safety tips contact the Oswego County the Oswego County Health Department at 349-3547 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3547, or visit the health department's Web site at http://oswegocounty.com/health.shtml
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