HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Plunging temperatures have officials worried that people will overlook simple safety steps as they try to keep warm through the first week of January.
"We do a lot of huddling," said Montana Nance, who lives in the Guyandotte community of Huntington. "Whenever you heat your home with extra heaters, you've got hazards like hot-to-the-touch heaters and fumes and the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. The list goes on and on."
In a published statement, the Kentucky Fire Marshall warns:
"There are steps to take to keep your family safe during extreme cold weather conditions that may require the use of supplemental heat in your home. Right now is the time to consider the dangers of carbon monoxide.
"Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas that is created when fuels – such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane – burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel can be sources of carbon monoxide.
“If you use a fireplace, a wood stove or a kerosene heater, make sure they are properly vented and that you have a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. These detectors will provide an early warning to get out of your house and call the fire department.”
The fire marshal also warns Kentuckians about warming a vehicle on cold mornings – don’t leave it running inside your garage. Remove it from the garage immediately after starting it – even if the garage doors are open. And make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.