The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (SFM) is reminding all residents to practice safe home heating as our state prepares to fall under varying levels of freeze this coming week. The top safe-heating tips, which can also be found in a video on the agency’s social media sites, include:
- Place space heaters 3 to 5 feet from combustible objects like blankets;
- Plug all heating appliances directly into wall outlets, not power strips or extension cords;
- Do not use stoves or ovens to heat homes;
- Don’t overfill fireplaces/wood burning stoves;
- Do not leave candles/open flames (or space heaters) left unattended;
- Have working smoke alarms in your home!
The SFM’s Operation Save-A-Life program partners with local fire departments and districts to provide free smoke alarm installations, at any time of the year, for families in need of assistance accessing the critical emergency-alert equipment. In addition to having working smoke alarms, the SFM also emphasizes the importance of having planned and practiced escape routes for your home that include knowing two ways out of every room. To register for a free smoke alarm, or learn more about Operation Save-A-Life, visit lasfm.org.
As temperatures drop and winter nears, Cleco also offers cold weather tips to help customers conserve energy and stay warm during the colder months. “The lower the temperature is outside, the harder a heating system has to work to keep your home or business warm,” said Hammad Chaudhry, Cleco’s energy efficiency program manager. “During the winter months, customers should set their thermostats no higher than 68 degrees, if possible, for maximum efficiency.”
Cleco encourages customers to use the following tips to conserve energy and stay warm during the colder months:
- Set your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, if possible;
- Heat is lost through doors, windows, cracks around baseboards and electrical outlets. Weather-stripping and caulking in these areas can help prevent heat loss;
- If using a space heater, make sure the plug isn’t frayed or torn, as it could start a fire, and keep heaters away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs;
- Open drapes, shades and curtains during the day to take advantage of solar heat;
- Close drapes, shades and curtains at night to retain heat inside.
For more conservation and energy efficiency tips, visit www.cleco.com/energyefficiency.