With Colder Temps Coming, Be Cautious With Alternative Heat
As we first reported in an article earlier in the week, colder weather is on its way!
According to the National Weather Service, we could see sub-zero temps for several evenings in the days to come, with a hazardous weather outlook issued for this entire week.
"An arctic airmass is expected to move into the region on Friday and last through the weekend. Gusty winds and very cold temperatures will produce dangerous wind chills."
With the wind chill, some forecasters are putting weekend temps in the area of about -40 degrees!
As people wait in anticipation of that state "Heat stimulus check" to come, many won't see it in time to fill up their fuel tank before Friday. And some are in a situation where they're out, and cannot afford to buy more at the moment. And those are the situations where people turn to alternative fuel sources to stay warm. But that comes with a risk.
Orono Fire Fighter, Dennis Bean, says he and his co-workers have seen some pretty dire conditions recently, as folks try to stay warm in this coldest part of winter.
"One of the worst things we see a lot is people using their kitchen stoves. They turn on the oven and leave the door open! Sad situations. We just entered a house the other day with 4 kerosene heaters and 3 full cans of fuel sitting in the middle of the living room!!! And people were living in there."
Even something like a space heater should be used with some caution.
In the past, the Maine Emergency Management Agency has issued some safety tips for using alternative methods of heat on their Facebook Page this week.
"Plug heaters directly into outlets, never into extension cords or power strips. Use heaters with an automatic shut-off so if the heater gets tipped over it will stop running. Turn off portable heaters when leaving the room or going to bed."
"If you're trying to stay warm with a space heater, make sure it has an auto shut-off in case it tips over. Space heaters cause 1 out of 3 of home heating fires and 4 out of 5 home heating fire deaths. Be sure to place space heaters on a solid, flat surface, keeping them, and their electrical cords, from things that can burn."
If you are in need of help heating your home this winter, you may want to reach out to the Maine Housing Authority. They have an energy assistance program that might be able to help. You can click here for more info.
Stay safe out there.