Use Caution When Using Alternative Heating Sources this Winter

A cold snap has hit the Kankakee Valley. While we turn up the heat, State Fire Marshal James Greeson heeds caution when using alternative heating sources, such as wood stoves or space heaters.

If you are using woodstoves or fireplaces, use only dry, seasoned wood to avoid the build-up of creosote. Creosote is an oily deposit that can easily catch fire. Avoid using a flammable liquid to start the fire. A sturdy screen should be placed in front of the fireplace to avoid sparks from flying into the room.

Greeson explained that flammable materials need to be kept away from space heaters. Bedding, curtains, clothing and other debris should be kept away from space heaters to reduce the risk of fire. Use the proper grade of fuel for your liquid-fueled space heater and never use gasoline in any heater not approved for gasoline use. Extension cords are not recommended.

A generator should never be used inside. Emergency generators outdoors away from windows and doors to prevent fumes from entering the home.

A carbon monoxide detector should also be installed to help detect dangerous carbon monoxide levels are found.