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Stay safe and warm this winter

Although the winter season just began on Dec. 21, we have been fortunate throughout the holidays with relatively warm weather. That has all changed over the past few days, however, with frigid temperatures moving into the region.

It is important to bring to mind the dangers of using supplemental heat sources.

With temperatures dipping below zero overnight and single digits for a portion of today, it’s logical to want to generate as much heat as possible to stay warm. But we must all remember to make safety a priority.

Portable heaters like space and kerosene heaters may be beneficial for those who have no other source of heat. But heating sources like these can be dangerous if not properly used, as those kinds of heaters need to be kept clear of combustible materials.

Fuel-powered heaters must never be refilled while being used or while they are still hot.

Likewise, it is not suggested to use a kitchen stove or oven to heat the home, and in addition to a fire hazard, toxic fumes are a risk as well.

Regardless of the heating type you have in the home, it is important to take a few minutes to ensure all smoke detectors are operational.

For those who may have a need and could be struggling to stay warm due to economic issues, the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) through the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization may be an option to assist in providing funding to help customers with heat.

Taking a few steps now to safely heat your home can make a difference this winter.