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Frigid air heading this way: Keep your family safe

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There is a deep freeze settling into Kentucky in the coming days with another cold shot predicted for Sunday evening and continuing into the early days of next week.

Kentucky State Fire Marshal William Swope said there are steps to take to keep your family safe during extreme cold weather conditions that may require the use of supplemental heat in your home. “Right now is the time to consider the dangers of carbon monoxide,” said Swope.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas that is created when fuels – such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane – burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.

“If you use a fireplace, a wood stove or a kerosene heater make sure they are properly vented and that you have a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. These detectors will provide an early warning to get out of your house and call the fire department.”

The fire marshal also warns Kentuckians about warming a vehicle on cold mornings – don’t leave it running inside your garage. “Remove it from the garage immediately after starting it – even if the garage doors are open. And make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.”

Swope said that most home-heating fires involve portable heaters and space heaters; although all heating systems can be dangerous if not used and maintained correctly. “Space heaters need space,” said Swope. “Keep these heaters at least 3 feet from furniture, walls, curtains or anything that can catch fire. It’s also vitally important to turn these heaters off when you go to sleep. Add extra blankets to your bed, but turn those heaters off. I cannot stress that enough.”

And if you use a generator, it should be used in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.