Follow the manufacturer's instructions and guidelines when using generators.
Use a generator or other fuel-powered machines outside the home. CO fumes are odorless and can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
Use the appropriate sized and type power cords to carry the electric load. Overloaded cords can overheat and cause fires.
Never connect generators to another power source such as power lines. The reverse flow of electricity or 'backfeed' can electrocute an unsuspecting utility worker.
Alternative heaters need their space. Keep anything that can catch fire at least three feet away.
Make sure your alternative heaters have 'tip switches.' These 'tip switches' are designed to automatically turn off the heater in the event they tip over.
Kerosene heaters may not be legal in your area and should only be used where approved by authorities.
Only use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer and follow suggested guidelines.
Never refill a space heater while it is operating or still hot. Refuel heaters only outdoors.
Make sure wood stoves are properly installed, and at least three feet away from anything that can catch fire. Ensure they have the proper floor support and adequate ventilation.
Use a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace to prevent sparks from igniting nearby carpets, furniture or other items that can catch fire.
Do not use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of toxic fumes.
Always use a flashlight – not a candle – for emergency lighting.
Some smoke alarms may be dependent on your home's electrical service and could be inoperative during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at least once a year.
If there is a fire hydrant near your home, keep it clear of snow, ice and debris for easy access by the fire department.
Social media messages
Copy and paste these messages to your social media accounts and ask your followers to share.
#Winter storm fire #safetytip: keep fire hydrants near your home clear of snow, ice & debris for easy fire department access.
#Winter storm fire #safetytip: always use a flashlight - not a candle - for emergency lighting.
During a winter storm, smoke alarms dependent on your home's electrical service may not work during a power outage. Check to see if your smoke alarm uses a back-up battery and install a new battery at least once a year.
During a winter storm, don't use the kitchen oven range to heat your home. In addition to being a fire hazard, it can be a source of dangerous carbon monoxide fumes that can quickly overwhelm you indoors.
The Exchange serves as a centralized location for national, state and local fire prevention and life safety practices and public education materials that organizations may wish to share with other communities. Visit the Exchange.
Outreach materials from other organizations
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends the following organizations as trusted and reliable sources for free outreach materials you can use to help increase awareness about fire safety and the use of portable generators during and after a winter storm.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Carbon Monoxide Information Center: Statistics, public service announcements, safety tips, and consumer product recalls related to carbon monoxide and portable generators. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is a U.S. federal agency that protects the public from injury or death associated with the use of consumer products.
Video: how close is too close for portable generators?
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology