|WCSI Local News|
Winter weather is here and Vectren wants to remind you to be aware of heating safety throughout the winter months.
Chase Kelley, director of corporate communications with Vectren in Evansville, says the first thing they preach is to have your furnace checked out by a professional on an annual basis.
She says they will go in and check for any safety issues and look for ways to tune it up. You should also change the filter as well. By doing these things, Kelley says you will save up to 2 percent on your energy costs.
If you use space heaters, Kelley recommends that you should have one that will automatically shut off to avoid overheating, and make sure you are in the room while it's being used. She says space heaters are the number one cause of fires during the winter months. She recommends that you should keep small children away from the unit at all times, they should be checked for signs of fraying or splitting wires or overheating, and keep it away from combustible materials and/or products.
Carbon monoxide safety is something else to keep in mind during this time of year. Kelley says when you burn natural gas, kerosene or anything like that, if it's not burning properly, there are issues with carbon monoxide. She says it's rare, but it can happen.
"It's colorless, you can't smell it," Kelley says. "There are symptoms like headaches for example that you know you would have a problem. But the easiest way to know is to get a carbon monoxide detector. So we encourage people to go out and install one of those near your furnace and/or water heater as just as an extra precaution."
Many people also heat their homes during the winter with natural gas. Kelley says there are some things to keep in mind when heating with natural gas. She says natural gas in its purest state has no odor, so they add an odorant to it called Mercaptan. It makes the gas smell like sulfur or rotting eggs and help you determine if you have a leak or not.
She says if you smell gas inside your home, you need to get out of the home immediately.
"Don't close windows, don't turn things off, don't make phone calls," Kelley says. "Get out of your home with your family members and call Vectren or 911 from a different location. We will then come and send a service tech out immediately. There is no charge for that service. We will do all the proper checks to make sure there is no concern with natural gas in your home."
For more information, go to http://www.vectren2.com/evision/wintersafety111212.pdf.
Last Updated: Friday, November 30, 2012 7:26:24 AM
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