OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Temperatures have fallen below freezing for the first time this year, which highlights the importance of keeping your home warm this winter.
The Omaha Fire Department (OFD) says there are several things to be aware of to ensure you and your family are safe.
If you use space heaters, be sure to keep an eye out for your children and pets. If a space heater is knocked over it could start a fire. Keep space heaters three feet away from anything else in your home.
During the holidays, extension cords are frequently used. Overloading those circuits could potentially start a fire as well.
Be sure to have someone check your furnace. A faulty furnace can start a fire, but can also emit carbon monoxide; a deadly gas that cannot be seen or smelled.
This is why they emphasize the importance of having working carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
“Those are some big hazards for the wintertime. People want to warm up their cars, they forgot they’re on,” OFD Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick said. “Furnaces might not be working properly or there are other heating sources that are inside that shouldn’t be during the winter months, and we want to make sure that you’re safe. The safest way is obviously to get a carbon monoxide detector.”
OFD says carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are headaches, nausea, and flu-like symptoms.
If you need a detector or help to install one and live in Omaha, OFD will do it for you.
You can set that up by reaching out to the department’s public education office at (402)-444-3560.
With the rise in prices of natural gas, your heating bill is going to be higher than usual, but there are ways to keep that heat in your home at a more efficient cost.
Westlake Ace Hardware says there are plenty of options when it comes to winterizing your home. All things that you can do on your own in a few hours or less.
The most important thing is sealing up cracks and holes in your doors or windows so the heat doesn’t escape. There are several products available at all Ace Hardware metro locations that can help you do just that to save you some money.
“The less time your heater runs, the warmer your house will be and the less money you are going to spend on it,” Westlake Ace Hardware General Manager Sean Grant said. “So, it’s just kind of creating efficiency within your home so you’re not wasting that heat that you’re pouring into it.”
Grant says you can stop at any of its locations around Omaha and they can assist you with any questions.
Space heaters are another option that could save you some money and keep you warm.
However, Ace Hardware says to never use extension cords with space heaters. Always plug your space heater directly into the outlet.