How to safely keep warm through winter storms

Emergency personnel give tips on what to do in inclement weather.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Sunday’s winter storms bring in wet, heavy snow which can down power lines, knocking out people’s heat. Losing heat during the cold can be unsafe and uncomfortable, so here are some ways to keep warm while also avoiding fire hazards.

“Heating fires are the second most common cause of home fire fatalities and half of those reports come in the months of December, January and February,” says Major Jessica Bowman with the Lexington Fire Department.

Lexington fire says a big culprit of these heating fires are space heaters. Lexington fire says if you’re using a space heater to stay warm, make sure there’s nothing flammable within three feet of the heater on any side, this includes keeping kids and pets at least three feet away.

“What we really encourage people to do is to read the instructions for use,” says Bowman. “We always want you to use the product the way it’s intended.”

Some heat sources not recommended by emergency personnel are your stove, oven or gas grills as these can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Instead, Madison County Emergency Management says if you don’t have a safe external heat source to use, dress for the inside like you’re going out to play in snow.

“Putting towels down around doors, windows, stuff like that can help keep any of the heat that you do have inside your home, there,” says Dustin Heiser, Madison County Emergency Management director. “It’s about keeping you and your family warm, layering up, blankets.”

Madison County Emergency Management recommends having an emergency kit prepared with things like flashlights or candles, water, non perishable foods, medications, extra contacts or glasses and if you have pets, food and treats for them as well. This kit should be able to last you three days, according to Madison County Emergency Management.

“Having your phone charged now so if the power goes out you still have the ability to look at the news agencies, look at our Facebook page and other social media sites, to get preparedness information and updated situational information,” says Heiser.

Prepare for the worst to stay safe and warm no matter what happens. For more tips on how to stay prepared for the weather, go to the Madison County Emergency Management Facebook page HERE.

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